Increased emissions coming from Highway 130

  • Thermal cameras show heat emanating from ground cracks on Highway 130 on Saturday morning. Courtesy of DOT.

Road crews are monitoring cracks on Highway 130 in lower Puna after higher emissions were detected from the cracks that opened in the highway’s surface in May.

Janet Snyder, spokeswoman to Mayor Harry Kim, said increased gas emissions were detected emanating from Highway 130, but could not say whether the increase was accompanied by a rise in temperature.

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Cracks in the highway first appeared shortly after the lower Puna eruption of Kilauea volcano began May 3. The expanding cracks, which periodically have emitted gas and heat, temporarily closed a section of the highway before they were covered by steel plates.

As of Friday afternoon, the southern edge of the fissure 8 lava flow front remained approximately 1/10 of a mile away from the Pohoiki boat ramp in Isaac Hale Beach Park, having not moved substantially since the previous day.

The official total number of homes destroyed rose to 716 Friday, an increase of four from the previous count.

Snyder said telecommunications provider AT&T set up cell towers in Hawaiian Beaches, restoring cellular service to the area. Snyder added that AT&T also plans another cell tower to be established near the Puna Geothermal Venture site, but said that plan has no definite completion date.

The University of Hawaii at Manoa will conduct free water and soil testing for residents and farmers affected by the eruption. Residents in Puna, Volcano, Pahala, Naalehu, South Point and Hawaiian Ocean View Estates can arrange such tests by calling 981-5199.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Disaster Recovery Center will be relocated to Pahoa Community Center starting Monday. The hours at the new location will remain the same: 8 a.m.-6 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays.

According to FEMA, 2,441 people have registered for disaster assistance at the recovery center, and more than $4.8 million in assistance funds have been approved.

Individuals and families can apply for Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance, or D-SNAP, until Aug. 2.

State Department of Human Services offices are open 7:45 a.m.-4:30 p.m. weekdays and closed Saturdays and Sundays.

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DHS will provide D-SNAP signs at facilities to help residents quickly find the entrance and get assistance. Residents also can get more information by calling 981-2754.

Email Michael Brestovansky at mbrestovansky@hawaiitribune-herald.com.