UPDATED: Residents warned of dangerously high sulfur dioxide levels in lower Puna

  • Fissure No. 17 erupts on Sunday.
  • UH Manoa Vog Measurement and Prediction Project This map shows the estimated concentration of sulfur dioxide at noon Monday; darker colors indicate a greater probability that a given sample has a sulfur dioxide concentration greater than 0.01 parts-per-million.

UPDATED 5:40 p.m.

The Hawaii Fire Department reports that fissures in the southeast area of Lanipuna Gardens area are issuing high levels of sulfur dioxide.


Residents in the area and surrounding farm lots on Pohoiki Road near Lanipuna Gardens are advised the air quality is condition RED. Condition RED means immediate danger to health so take action to limit further exposure.

Severe conditions may exist, such as choking and inability to breathe. This is a serious situation that affects the entire exposed population.

UPDATED 12:45 p.m.

Hawaii County Civil Defense reports high levels of sulfur dioxide and toxic volcanic fumes in Lower Puna,

Civil Defense spokesperson Janet Snyder said toxic volcanic gases have been particularly high in areas downwind of the active volcanic vents near Lanipuna Gardens. In particular, she said, the areas of Opihikao and the Kalapana Seaview Estates subdivision are especially affected.

Meanwhile, Snyder said, areas such as Pahala and Ocean View are also contending with volcanic ash blown from Kilauea summit as well as volcanic fumes.

While some specialized masks can protect from dangerous gases and particulates, the best way to protect oneself from the fumes is to leave the affected area.

In cases of high vog, residents are advised to avoid outdoor activities that cause heavy breathing, avoid smoking or secondhand smoke, remain indoors whenever possible with windows closed, set any air conditioners to recirculate air and drink plenty of fluids.


Hawaii County Civil Defense reports that the new fissure in Lanipuna Gardens Subdivision that opened over the weekend remains active.

Lava flow from the 17th fissure, which opened between the 15th and 16th fissures, is moving slowly toward the ocean, about two miles away. No homes or roads are currently threatened at this time.

For a video showing the eruption of fissure 17 on Sunday, click here: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/observatories/hvo/multimedia_uploads/multimediaFile-2013.mp4.

Due to the volcanic activity, the following are issued:

• Residents of Lanipuna Gardens are advised to be on the alert to gas emissions and active volcanic eruption.

• Hawaii Police Department is enforcing the Federal Aviation Administration’s Temporary Flight Restriction for lower Puna area. No helicopter or drone activity is allowed without approval.

Fissure 17 continues to be active with lava from Kilauea volcano, according to HVO. A narrow lava flow has been generated and is slowly moving toward the ocean, which is about two miles away. No homes or roads are threatened at this time, according to Hawaii County Civil Defense.

No sightseeing is allowed in the area. Highway 132 is closed at Pohoiki Road intersection, and a Highway 130 checkpoint is located by Pahoa High School.


Only local traffic is allowed beyond all roadblocks.

See up to date web map information here: http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/2018-lava-map​.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Star-Advertiser's TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email hawaiiwarriorworld@staradvertiser.com.