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Monday, November 28, 2022

Kaʻū News Briefs, Monday, Nov. 28, 2022

On Monday morning, lava from Kīlauea volcano lava lake is seen to the left of the photo, and a magnificent glow from Mauna Loa, upper right, sets the morning sky aglow. NPS photo by Joyce Ibasan

THOUGH MAUNA LOA'S GLOW LOOMS BRIGHTLY over Kaʻū at night, the eruption is no longer an immediate threat to people living here and into Miloli'i and South Kona. A statement from USGS on Monday said, "There is no active lava within Moku'āweoweo caldera, and there is no lava erupting from the Southwest Rift Zone. We do not expect any eruptive activity outside the Northeast Rift Zone. No property is at risk currently. There is a visible gas plume from the erupting fissure fountains and lava flows, with the plume primarily being blown to the Northwest." The red plume became visible from much of Kaʻū and around the island as the sun set on Monday.
Mauna Loa's glow looms above Pāhala Monday evening. Photo by Julia Neal
   County of Hawai'i Civil Defense stated Monday evening, "Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports the leading edge of two of the three fingers of lava on Mauna Loa's northeast flank have stalled and the third remains at a high elevation of over 10,000 feet and more than 10 miles from Saddle Road. The northeast flank of Mauna Loa is not populated and lava does not pose a threat to any communities or infrastructure, at this time."
    Ken Hon, Chief Scientist with USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said, "We're hoping that this lava flow - while it will be a big, spectacular event - it occupies a fairly small proportion of the island and hopefully it will have relatively minor affects on the residents and visitors to the island." During a press conference Monday, Hon noted that the Mauna Loa eruption began at about 11:30 p.m. Sunday leading to lava covering almost the entire floor of the caldera. He said lava did leave the big caldera but stayed in summit area. Fissures that ran from the north to the southwest last night and were seen from Kona "only made it a couple of kilometers from the caldera," said Hon. About 5 a.m. Monday, USGS detected lava flows and the locus of seismic activity moving north northeast. At 6:30 a.m., USGS confirmed with overflights that lava flows were moving from fissures that had opened up in in northeast direction. Hon said the eruption progressed from a summit eruption to a rift zone eruption. 
View from Wood Valley Road. Photo by Julia Neal
    "Mauna Loa's Northeast Rift Zone is the locus of eruptive activity," said Hon, noting that there has never been an eruption on Mauna Loa that activated both rift zones at the same time nor during the same eruption. "We are presuming that all the future activity will be in the Northeast Rift Zone of Mauna Loa and not the Southeast Rift Zone."
    Hon explained that the "Northeast Rift Zone empties into the Saddle between Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea and said, "There is no real habitation up there." He said that the military's Pohakuloa Training Area in the Saddle and Mauna Loa Weather Observatory are not directly threatened.
    Hon said that eventually the lava flow could potentially threaten populated areas around Hilo like in 1984, "but we are looking at somewhere around a week before we expect lava to get anywhere" in that direction - into the Hilo area. He said if this eruption is similar to Mauna Loa's last eruption in 1984, the
HVO field crews at the summit of Mauna Loa on Monday to make observations and collect information to create and update lava flow maps and inform hazard analysis. USGS photo
lava would become more viscous as time goes on and it flows on the flatter slopes in the Saddle, which would slow it down. He said the gentler slopes and the slowing of the lava prevented it from reaching Hilo in 1984. "Only a couple of eruptions have made it into the outskirts of what is current Hilo."
    Hon also explained that during the 2018 Kilauea eruption the lava moved underground, slowly at first before coming to the surface. He said eruptions are different from Mauna Loa. There is the "unzipping of the rift zone, pushing hot new lava right out." He said the Mauna Loa eruptions usually start
Aerial photo taken Monday morning from Civil Air Patrol flight over the Northeast Rift Zone eruption of Mauna Loa. 

at a high effusion rate and maintain it for a few weeks. Hon noted that Mauna Loa is a very large volcano and "there is a lot of space for lava to move around because so much of it is unoccupied." He did caution that with a continuing eruption, as flows reach below the inversion layer, SO2 levels could rise and even
blow over to Maui. He noted that the 33 past Mauna Loa eruptions averaged two weeks, with the exception of a few that lasted only a few days and a few over a year. He said Mauna Loa has not had an explosive eruption and he doesn't expect them. Instead, this is an effusive lava producing eruption with fairly low fountains, said Hon.
Gilbert Aquino, Jack Snell, Glenn Kokubun and Nona Makuakane man the Red Cross evacuation
center at the Herke's Kaʻū District Gym on Monday. They are among those representing Civil
Defense, Red Cross and Department of Parks and Recreation. Photo by Julia Neal
   Referring to the lava flowing into the Saddle, Mayor Mitch Roth said, "Right now seems like lava is going to a positive as far as keeping away from the public." Luke Meyers, Administrator of the state Hawai'i Emergency Management Agency, called the situation "Very dynamic," and encouraged everyone to "keep their guard up." Major General Ken Hara, head of Hawai'i National Guard, said National Guard is on standby for air and ground evacuation, and security assistance, with two guardsmen embedded in the county Emergency Operating Center.
    In the meantime, the Red Cross evacuation center remained open for Monday night at Herke's Kaʻū District Gym, with an expectation of it closing on Tuesday. It opened at 3 a.m. on Monday without people evacuating to stay there.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar. See latest print edition at wwwkaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/04/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.html.

The lavender shows lava flows on Mauna Loa since 1843, including
 those that headed into Kaʻū along the Southwest Rift Zone. The red
shows fissures active in the Northeast Rift zone, headed toward
Saddle Road. The eruption began Sunday night. USGS map
HAWAI'I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK REMAINS OPEN, following a new eruption on Mauna Loa volcano that began in the summit caldera late Sunday night, and migrated to the northeast rift zone Monday morning.
    For everyone’s safety, the park closed Mauna Loa Road from the gate at Kīpukapuaulu Monday morning to vehicles. The summit, cabins and high-elevation areas of Mauna Loa have been closed since early October when the volcano began to show signs of unrest and increased seismicity. In addition, Mauna Loa Observatory Road, outside of the park, is also closed to the public.
    The new eruption, which is the first time Mauna Loa has erupted since 1984, is expected to draw an influx of visitors to the park who hope to see a rare dual eruption from both Kīlauea and Mauna Loa volcanoes. Viewing areas along Kīlauea caldera before sunrise on Monday revealed a massive glow from Mauna Loa caldera, Mokuʻāweoweo (13,677 ft. elevation) and a smaller lava lake within Halemaʻumaʻu (4,009 ft.) at the summit of Kīlauea.
    Neither eruption is threatening homes or infrastructure at this time. Kīlauea has been erupting since Sept. 29, 2021 with lava confined to the summit lava lake.
    “Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park is keeping close watch on Mauna Loa in tandem with our colleagues at USGS and Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense,” said Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park Superintendent, Rhonda Loh. “The park is currently open, but visitors should be prepared and stay informed,” Loh said.
    Visitors are urged to check the park website www.nps.gov/hawaiivolcanoes for closure updates, safety alerts, air quality and other information including links to the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory webcams and eruption updates.
    The Federal Aviation Administration has enacted a Temporary Flight Restriction encompassing a five nautical mile radius around Mauna Loa summit and 5,000 above ground level. Approved emergency response flights are excepted.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar. See latest print edition at wwwkaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/04/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.html.

GIFT GIVING HAS BEEN ADDED TO OCEAN VIEW'S CHRISTMAS LIGHT SHOW. The over-the-top extravaganza in Ocean View makes Lehua and Palm Streets a popular attracting droves of awed keiki and elated “kids” of all ages.
    Kaida Houvener and his family are famous for transforming their corner property into a display of Christmas lights and holiday icons. This year, Christmas eve will be even more special as Houvener dons a traditional Santa outfit and greets keiki on the corner of Lehua and Palm, giving each a small gift. Thanks to the generosity of the Ocean View community, including South Point U Cart and Ace

The light show and Christmas wonderland is on nightly in Ocean
 View, courtesy of the Houvener family of Ranchos.
Photo by Peter Bosted
    Hardware, Santa will have about 300 presents to give to keiki ages 11 and under. The Grindz food truck will be there so families can stay and enjoy the unique ambiance with a meal. Cheeky Tiki will be giving cinnamon rolls to the children. For a special holiday photo, Santa’s sleigh will be parked
nearby to play a part in making wonderful memories.
    Three hundred presents for 300 lucky boys and girls is not all that Santa has planned. There will also be four bikes that will be given to keiki on Christmas day. The four lucky ones will have their names drawn from four jars on Christmas eve. There will be a tricycle for a lucky girl and another for a lucky boy. And there will be a two-wheeler for a lucky girl aged six to nine, and another for a lucky boy that age. To enter, the keiki simply write their names and phone numbers on a ticket and drop the ticket into the appropriate jar. The owners of the four tickets that are drawn (one from each of the four jars) will be contacted by Santa on Christmas day and their names will be on Facebook.
   For this unique Christmas eve event, Lehua will be closed to autos between Ocean View and Palm, while Palm vehicular traffic will narrow to one lane as it crosses Lehua. In this way, Santa will be able to
Kaida Houvenour and Santa.
Photo by Peter Bosted
meet and greet the Keiki safely as they mill about the intersection, basking in the thousands of bright lights and spotting characters from TV programs and enjoying the festive spirit.
    Houvener said he hopes that neither the weather nor the eruption atop Mauna Loa will stop the celebrations. If it is raining on Christmas eve, Santa will hand out gifts to keikis in cars as they are driven by. If the rain is light, the fantastic display of lights will go on, but heavy rain will kibosh the event. This year, Houvener will have his hundreds of Christmas icons securely tied down, so wind should not be the problem that it has been in past years.
    The countless fans of the Houvener family’s Christmas display can show their appreciation by dropping cash into a donation box. Houvener will use the cash to buy more decorations at the box stores’ post-Christmas sales, so next year’s display will be even larger.
    “I see our Christmas display as a community effort,” Houvener told The Ka’u Calendar, “as without the community this could not happen.
    “When I see the joy in the eyes of the keiki, I feel the joy in my heart. I feel like a kid again. I want my community to feel the happiness that this community gives me and my wife and my daughter. This is the Christmas spirit that keeps us going and makes us try for a bigger and better show each year. It makes me happy to see others happy,” added Houvener.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar. See latest print edition at wwwkaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/04/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.html.

TROJANS GIRLS BASKETBALL TRAVELED TO KEALAKEHE on Monday to face the Warriors. Trojan scorers were Shania Silva with 4, Katrina Manatan 3, Cileya Silva-Kamei 2 and Tyra Wong Yuen 1. Trojans fell to the Warriors who won 62-10.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar. See latest print edition at wwwkaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/04/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.html.