LOWER EAST RIFT ZONE
Eruption of lava continues from multiple points along the northeast end of the active fissure system. Residents in lower Puna should remain informed and heed Hawaii County Civil Defense closures, warnings, and messages (http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-alerts)
This morning, activity is dominated by lava fountaining, explosion of spatter more than 100 feet into the air, and an advancing lava flow from fissure 17 at the northeast end of the fissure system. As of 630 am the fissure 17 flow had traveled just under a mile roughly east-southeast parallel to the rift zone. It is turning slightly south and at this time is about one half mile south of Highway 132.
Fissure 18 that became active late yesterday is weakly active.
A fissure 19 has been spotted very near fissure 15 as of about 8 am just northeast of Pohoiki Road and north of Hinalo Street at the east end of Lanipuna Gardens. It is producing a sluggish lava flow.
Volcanic gas emissions remain elevated throughout the area downwind of the vents. Yesterday with the onset of activity at fissure 17, powerful steam jets have occurred intermittently near the west end of the fissure. These jets may be responsible for some of the loud sounds reported by residents and emergency workers.
This eruption is still evolving and additional outbreaks of lava are possible. Ground deformation continues and seismicity remains elevated in the area.
The location of future outbreaks could include areas both uprift (southwest) and downrift (northeast) of the existing fissures, or, existing fissures can be reactivated. Communities downslope of these fissures could be at risk from lava inundation. Activity can change rapidly.
Local residents are reporting lots of noise coming from the fissure throughout the night, with lots of sudden booms from lava explosions. The eruption is putting on quite the show, like a super-duper fireworks display. Large chunks of lava, called bombs, are intermittently being ejected several hundred feet into the air, while many other spots along the fissure are constantly fountaining spatter.
A lava flow has been generated from the fissure, heading toward the ocean 2 miles away. At this time, there is no way of telling if it will reach the coast. Reports say that no houses are threatened for the time being.
I have a friend working in one of the evacuation centers. She said that the center filled up quickly yesterday. Guess a lot more people are getting away from the danger. Most people have a place to go -- family, friends, farms who have opened their land for camping, motels. Both many don't. The shelters are real important during this crisis. I thank everyone who is helping there!!!!