Lava less than 200 yards from Isaac Hale Beach Park and Pohoiki boat ramp

  • USGS photo Lava continued to enter the sea near Ahalanui during Hawaiian Volcano Observatory's early morning helicopter overflight of Kilauea's lower East Rift Zone on Monday.

Lava had moved to within 200 yards of Isaac Hale Beach Park and Pohoiki boat ramp — less than two football fields in distance — as of Tuesday morning’s overflight by Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

“‘Shacks’ and ‘Bowls’ are gone,” said Janet Snyder, Mayor Harry Kim’s spokeswoman, referring to a couple of popular surf spot near Pohoiki.


“We had a 10 p.m. image of Pohoiki area and it showed a bay, this beautiful black sand beach,” Snyder said. “Well, in the eight hours since that time, it’s been filled in with lava. … Pohoiki’s not gone but it’s very close. It’s about 175 meters from the boat ramp.”

Snyder described the current flow front between Ahalanui and Pohoiki as “basically, like this necklace along the coast.”

Fountaining and channels from fissure No. 8 in Kilauea’s lower East Rift Zone was described as “pretty low, but still active to the ocean entry, and the entry is quite spread out.”

She said the lava on the flow front is “not moving that fast” but the western boundary of the flow front is again active.

A collapse-explosion occurred at Kilauea’s summit at 6:41 a.m. today. According to the Hawaii Volcanoes Observatory website, corrected preliminary data showed the explosion created energy equivalent to a magnitude-4.5 earthquake.

“There were lots of rockfalls at Halema‘uma‘u but the air cleared pretty fast,” Snyder said. There was a 35-hour period since the previous summit collapse-explosion.

Snyder noted the cracks on Highway 11 in the Volcano area caused by summit seismic activity.

“We’re working out contingency plans,” she said, but added details aren’t yet available.

Winds are northeasterlies, 8-12 miles per hour, a pattern expected to hold through Wednesday. Upper-level transport winds are expected to push sulfur dioxide emissions to the south and southwest. Rain showers enhanced by lava heat are predicted for Thursday over the lower East Rift Zone and sulfur dioxide emissions are expected to move to the Big Island interior. Trade winds should return on Friday and last through the weekend.

A community meeting on the ongoing lava emergency is scheduled for 5 p.m. today at the Pahoa High School cafeteria.

The Disaster Recovery Center remains open six days a week at Keaau High School gym. Weekday hours are 8 a.m.-6 p.m., and Saturday hours are 8 a.m.-4 p.m.


As of Monday 2,386 individuals had registered for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and $4,389,077 in funds had been approved.

Email John Burnett at

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