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Saturday, February 11, 2023

Kaʻū News Briefs, Saturday, Feb. 11, 2023

Traditional weaving is one of the cultural experiences to be shared at the public grand opening
of Ke Ola Pu'uhonua next to Punalu'u Bakeshop in Na'alehu on Saturday, March 4, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Photo by Julia Neal

GRAND OPENING FOR THE NEW HAWAIIAN CULTURAL GARDEN ON THE GROUNDS OF  PUNALU'U BAKESHOP is set for Saturday, March 4 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The name of the place is Ke Ola Pu'uhonua. The public and 'ohana are invited for a cultural experience featuring a hula performance by Halau Hula O Leionalani at noon, music, hands on teachings by such living treasures as Uncle Chucky Leslie with his fisheries; Kupuna Linda Saffery with her lauhala and makloa weaving; Kupuna Bully Davies with coconut weaving; and Uncle Waltah Wong with his traditional hale and more.
   Uhane Pohaku Na Moku O Hawai'i, Inc. will serve free hot dogs and juice from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for all guests.  The organization is headed by Kawehi Ryder and Kumu Hula Debbie Ryder.

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A DEATH FROM FLU TAKING A YOUNG HAWAI'I RESIDENT has drawn a message from the state Department of Health. The victim was under 18 and "has died of influenza," said the DOH announcement on Friday. "This death serves as a sober reminder that influenza is circulating widely in Hawai’i. Everyone six months of age and older can be protected from influenza by getting their flu vaccine."
    According to DOH, this marks the first death of a child from influenza in Hawai’i during this flu season. "The child was hospitalized at the time of death. Out of respect for the family’s privacy and in compliance with medical privacy laws, no further information about the child is being released."
    State Health Director, Dr. Kenneth Fink, said, “We are especially saddened to announce the death of a child in our community. Our thoughts and condolences are with the family at this difficult time. If you or your loved ones have not received the flu vaccine this season, I hope you will consider doing so.”
Flu symptoms from state Department of Health
    The DOH message says that vaccines "provide protection against the impacts of certain infectious diseases, including influenza and COVID-19. Keeping up to date on all recommended vaccinations and boosters provides strong protection from severe illness, hospitalization, and death. Vaccines are widely available statewide at pharmacies, clinics, and healthcare facilities. A list of COVID 19 and flu vaccination locations can be found at https://www.vaccines.gov/. The DOH encourages anyone who is not up-to-date, or is unsure whether they are up-to-date, to consult with a pharmacist or healthcare provider about getting vaccinated."
    Hawai’i’s last pediatric death from influenza occurred in January 2020. In the prior ten years, Hawai’i recorded six pediatric deaths due to influenza. During the height of the pandemic, Hawai’i experienced very low rates of flu in residents of all ages. “The restrictions we put in place for COVID-19 protected us from other respiratory viruses as well,” said Hawai'i State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Kemble, “That’s likely the reason there were no pediatric influenza deaths during the last three years.”
    Many respiratory viruses are circulating in Hawai’i this winter, including flu, COVID-19, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection. Symptoms are similar, and it’s usually not possible to tell one from another without a test. "Those at highest risk, including those with underlying health conditions — the elderly, infants, and anyone experiencing severe symptoms — should seek healthcare promptly, for testing and treatment as needed," says the DOH statement.
    More information about influenza and other respiratory diseases is available at https://health.hawaii.gov/docd/disease-types/respiratory-viruses/.

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Mauna Loa’s Fissure 3 gas plume as seen from the Saddle Road on Dec. 2, 2022. Winds were from the northeast at the
time the photo was taken, and spread the plume over much of the island to the south and west of Mauna Loa summit.
USGS photo by P. Nadeau

CHASING MAUNA LOA'S VOLCANIC PLUME is the title of this week's Volcano Watch, written by scientists and affiliates of USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory:

   When Mauna Loa erupted in November 2022 for the first time in nearly 40 years, one of the main concerns was the lava and where it would flow. But Mauna Loa didn’t only erupt lava – as with all other volcanic eruptions, many tonnes of volcanic gases were emitted from the active vents. Volcanic gases emitted during eruptions include water vapor, carbon dioxide (CO2), and sulfur dioxide (SO2). During eruptions, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) aims to characterize both the chemistry and amount of gas being emitted.
    SO2 emission rates are a key parameter to measure, as they can be used as a proxy for lava effusion rate and they dictate how much vog, or volcanic air pollution, there is downwind. Typically, we measure SO2 emission rates using a vehicle-mounted ultraviolet spectrometer, which we drive beneath the plume.
    At Kīlauea, because the trade winds tend to blow the summit plume in a single direction, we have a permanent array of spectrometers to measure SO2 there, so we don’t have to do as much driving. Driving on Chain of Craters Road for the Puʻuʻōʻō eruption and on Highway 130 for the 2018 lower East Rift Zone eruption were our common means of measuring the plume in the trade wind direction for these other Kīlauea eruptive sites.
    Mauna Loa, however, at such a high altitude compared to Kīlauea, experiences different wind patterns, and winds were very variable during the eruption. Sometimes measurements of high-altitude plumes can be made relatively easily by flying an airplane or a helicopter beneath the plume instead of driving. However, the Mauna Loa plume had not only high concentrations of gases, but also contained particles, like Pele’s hair, which could adversely affect an aircraft flying under it. So what did that mean for the HVO gas crew during the eruption? We had to shift gears and do a whole lot of driving!
    Over the course of the roughly two-week eruption, the winds took the plume in many directions, including over Saddle Road, Ocean View, Pāhala, Puna, Hilo, Kailua-Kona, and Captain Cook. This meant that the HVO gas team drove nearly 3,000 miles (4,800 km) in total! Ultimately, all the driving paid off and we succeeded in measuring emission rates on ten separate days. This allowed HVO to report these emission rates to the public and to vog forecasters during the eruption. Preliminary data processing 

Mauna Loa’s Fissure 3 gas plume, with rain clouds, as seen from the Saddle Road on Nov 29, 2022. The orange-brown
tint near the vent is due to scattering by aerosols in the plume. The dark gray clouds are a mix of plume with what are
called pyrocumulus clouds, or clouds that the volcano itself generated via the intense heating of the air by the erupting
fissure. USGS photo by M. Warren

suggests that Mauna Loa emitted over two million tonnes (2 Mt) of SO2 between Nov. 28 and Dec. 12. This doesn’t include a large volume of SO2 that satellite images show was emitted with the initial fissure opening overnight between the 27th and 28th of November; we need ultraviolet light to make these

Free, on stands and in the mail.
driving measurements, which means they can only be conducted during daylight hours. Daily emission rates are estimated to have ranged from 200,000 to 500,000 t/d of SO2 early in the eruption and were just over 100,000 t/d later in the eruption. By December 8, emissions had dropped significantly to only about 30,000 t/d. Only about 2,000 t/d were emitted on Dec. 10, and by Dec. 12, emissions were essentially not detectable, even on the ground near the Fissure 3 cone.
    These emission rates are very similar to those measured during the 2018 lower East Rift Zone eruption at Kīlauea, which also emitted SO2 at a rate of nearly 200,000 t/d for a portion of the eruption. The total SO2 emitted by the 2018 eruption was roughly five times more than Mauna Loa’s total, however, owing in part to the longer eruption duration.
    SO2 emission rates reported for the 1984 eruption of Mauna Loa were roughly 100,000 to 200,000 t/d, as derived from satellite data. However, the technology used at the time was not as sophisticated as our modern spectrometers and likely underestimated those emission rates. So Mauna Loa’s 1984 SO2 emissions were probably similar to those in 2022.
    SO2 emission rates at Mauna Loa’s Fissure 3 are down to nearly zero with the eruption being over. Mauna Loa will eventually erupt again and when it does, HVO’s gas team will be in the driver’s seat, ready to do whatever it takes to measure emission rates.

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MILOLI'I ROADWORK IS PLANNED BY THE COUNTY Feb. 13-17 for installing pavement markings on the resurfaced road way from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily. The county notice says to expect officers directing traffic and minor delays. The work is weather permitting.

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St. Jude's Hot Meals are free to those in need on Saturdays from 9 a.m. until food runs out, no later than noon. Volunteers from the community are welcome to help and can contact Karen at pooch53@gmail.com. Location is 96-8606 Paradise Circle Drive in Ocean View. Those in need can also take hot showers from 9 a.m. to noon and use the computer lab from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Free Meals Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays are served from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Nā'ālehu Hongwanji. Volunteers prepare the food provided by 'O Ka'ū Kākou with fresh produce from its gardens on the farm of Eva Liu, who supports the project. Other community members also make donations and approximately 150 meals are served each day, according to OKK President Wayne Kawachi.

Volcano Evening Market, Cooper Center, Volcano Village, Thursdays, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., with live music, artisan crafts, ono grinds, and fresh produce. See facebook.com.

Volcano Swap Meet, fourth Saturday of the month from 8 a.m. to noon. Large variety of vendors with numerous products. Tools, clothes, books, toys, local made healing extract and creams, antiques, jewelry, gemstones, crystals, food, music, plants, fruits, and vegetables. Also offered are cakes, coffee, and shave ice. Live music.

Volcano Farmers Market, Cooper Center, Volcano Village on Sundays, 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., with local produce, baked goods, food to go, island beef and Ka'ū Coffee. EBT is used for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly Food Stamps. Call 808-967-7800.

Ka'ū Kākou Market, Nā'ālehu, Wednesdays, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Contact Nadine Ebert at 808-938-5124 or June Domondon 808-938-4875. See facebook.com/OKauKakouMarket.

Ocean View Community Market, Saturdays and Wednesdays, 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., corner of Kona Drive and Highway 11, where Thai Grindz is located. Masks mandatory. 100-person limit, social distancing required. Gate unlocked for vendors at 5:30 a.m., $15 dollars, no reservations needed. Parking in the upper lot only. Vendors must provide their own sanitizer. Food vendor permits required. Carpooling is encouraged.