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Thursday, February 16, 2023

Kaʻū News Briefs, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2023

Fun in the mud at a previous Panaewa Stampede Rodeo which is billed this year as a rain or shine event. It is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, with paniolo from Kaʻū on their way. See more below. Photo from Panaewa Stampede

MORE THAN A FOOT OF RAIN is expected in Kaʻū this weekend. Mayor Mitch Roth said he was particularly concerned about Kaʻū which could be in for a difficult time, since it is usually not as wet as places like Hilo. Roth pre-declared a State of Emergency in order to be able to use funding in case there is need for emergency services and repairs. County Civil Defense issued a Flash Flood Watch on Thursday afternoon, saying that Kaʻū, Puna and Hilo "are most at risk for this event." Rainfall of multiple inches per hour was predicted.
   A winter storm warning covers the upper slopes of Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea with over a foot of snow forecast for the summits and heavy fog and ice already on the mauna.

    The storm is spawned by a Kona Low, defined as a subtropical low, which spins like a tropical storm and or hurricane with deep tropical moisture, but with lighter winds. Rains can fall rapidly causing flooding. 
    Civil Defense stated, "All Residents in flood prone areas should prepare their property for flooding and should remain alert for flooding conditions. Be aware that outdoor events may be cancelled with little to no warning."
    National Weather Service issued a High Surf Advisory for east facing shores of Hawai'i Island from Upolu Point in North Kohala through Cape Kumukahi in Puna to South Point in Kaʻū until 6 p.m. Saturday. A High Surf Advisory means surf will be higher than normal, shore break, and dangerous currents could cause injury or death.
    Due to the High Surf Advisory, Civil Defense warns:"Expect strong breaking waves, shore break, and rip currents making swimming difficult and dangerous. Beach-goers, swimmers, and surfers should heed all advice given by ocean safety officials; when in doubt, don't go out. There are no beach closures at this time, but be aware that beaches may close without notice."
     Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park issued a statement saying those who plan to visit the park can "expect up to 20 inches of rain over the next few days, flash flooding, potential road closures, program cancellations, and poor visibility for eruption viewing." A Walk in the Past with Dr. Thomas Jaggar living history and Stewardship at the Summit programs have been cancelled for this week.

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TEN SCHOLARSHIPS, $2,000 EACH, are being offered to high school and college students by CU Hawai'i Federal Credit Union, which serves Kaʻū with branches in Nā'ālehu and Pāhala and an ATM in Ocean View.
    Students can apply for a scholarship online at www.cuhawaii.com.
    CU Hawai'i is celebrating Big Island graduating High School seniors and post graduates with "More Possibilities for their futures with $20,000 in scholarships," says the announcement from the credit union.
   "We will be awarding eight scholarships for Big Island Class of 2023 public or private High School graduates and two scholarships for current college students who graduated from a Big Island public or private High School. Each recipient will receive $2,000 to further their education as a full-time college student in a vocational school, community college or university."
    Applicants must be enrolled as a full time college student in 2023-2024 and a CU Hawai'i FCU member prior to the application deadline. Application deadline is April 15 2023.

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KAʻŪ PANIOLO ARE HEADED TO THE PANAEWA STAMPEDE RODEO for Saturday and Sunday. Organizers call it a rain or shine event.
    Gates open at  8 a.m. Saturday and Sunday with the rodeo starting at noon both days at the Alvin 'Al' Cabral Rodeo Arena. Sunday features Cowboy Church at 9 a.m. The location is Pana'ewa Equestrian Center where the arena was recently named after the late Al Cabral, a longtime supporter and announcer for many rodeos at Kaʻū  Roping & Riding Association events in Nā'ālehu. He was also the founder of the Panaewa Stampede Rodeo.
    Events this weekend include Open Dally Team Roping, Kane-Whine Team Roping, Century Team Roping, Tie Down Roping, Double Mugging, Kane-Wahine Ribbon mugging, Po'o Wai U, Bull Riding, and Ranch Bronc riding. 
     There will be Wahine Breakaway Roping and Wahine Barrels.
     In the Junior Division are Bull Riding, Calf Riding, Sheep Riding and Dummy Roping.
     Rodeo Director is Rob Sanborn, Rodeo Treasureer is Nancy Cabral, Rodeo Secretary is Sammie Roque.
      Lori Lee Lorenzo, Ikaika Grace and Frank Lorenzo, Jr. are among those competing from Kaʻū. Edmund C. Olson Trust is a Silver Spur sponsor of the event. The Paniolo Preservation Society Tent will have displays featuring famed paniolo from around the island throughout history, including those from Kaʻū .

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COMPARING CRISES: MAUNA LOA 1984 VS MAUANA LOA 2022 is the title of this week's Volcano Watch by U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists and affiliates:
     Mauna Loa's recent eruption is still fresh in the minds of Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists and Island of Hawai'i residents. Now is a good time to reflect on this event, especially in comparison to the one 38 years before it.
Aerial images of the distal ends of a lava flows from Mauna Loa's Northeast Rift Zone in 1984 
USGS image.

    Despite the development of new volcano monitoring techniques, decades between the eruptions meant there were many uncertainties leading to the recent eruption. Did the unrest observed during the fall of 2022 mean an eruption would certainly occur? How soon would modern monitoring signals show signs of an imminent eruption?
    At the same time, 33 previously observed Mauna Loa eruptions have demonstrated certain patterns that HVO could be confident the volcano would follow if it erupted again. Patterns like all previous eruptions began in the summit caldera. Additionally, half of those eruptions stayed in the summit and half migrated to a rift zone or radial vent. If the eruption migrated out of the summit, where would it go? The answer to that question wouldn't become evident until it happened. A Southwest Rift Zone (SWRZ) eruption could impact infrastructure within hours; a Northeast Rift Zone (NERZ) eruption would take days, weeks, months to impact infrastructure downslope.
    Throughout the fall of 2022, as Mauna Loa became more active, HVO worked closely with the County of Hawai'i Civil Defense Agency to educate the island residents. We held community meetings, gave media interviews, published Volcano Watch articles, official notices, and social media posts about the uncertainties and certainties of a Mauna Loa eruption. We encouraged kamaʻāina living or working on the flanks of Mauna Loa to prepare for the possibility of an eruption. And as unrest continued, the Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park closed Mauna Loa's backcountry to hikers on Oct. 5.
    When the eruption began, on the night of Nov. 27, events unfolded similarly to the 1984 eruption. Seismic signals indicating an impending eruption occurred less than an hour in advance of each eruption. Both eruptions occurred in the middle of the night, waking scientists and residents from their slumber.
    In 1984 and 2022, bright glow, from fountains within Moku'āweoweo, was visible around the island. Word of the eruption spread quickly—in 1984, via the coconut wireless and, in 2022, via social media.
    In 2022, some residents living near the Southwest Rift Zone chose to self-evacuate in case the eruption migrated there. Fortunately, both the 1984 and 2022 eruptions migrated within hours from the summit to the Northeast Rift Zone.
    Weather sometimes prevented HVO crews from making observations during both eruptions; however, technological advancements since 1984 allowed HVO to provide remote views of the 2022 eruption in near real-time. Furthermore, HVO deployed webcams and a livestream video that were available to the public.

Aerial images of the distal ends of a lava flows from Mauna Loa's Northeast Rift Zone in 2022.
    Modern technology allowed HVO to share, in near real time, accurate 2022 flow maps, derived from satellite imagery and overflights, with HCCDA, our partners, and the public. Lava flow models used digital elevation models to evaluate lava flow paths and potential impacts. This information was shared during daily press briefings in 2022, a communication strategy that was also used during 1984 eruption.
    These observations, and others, were summarized at the International Association for the Volcanology of Earth's Interior scientific assembly meeting that takes place every four years. This year, the meeting occurred in Rotorua, New Zealand, where HVO staff were invited to present talks on the recent eruption.
    Presentations described the buildup to the eruption, the magma system, flow mapping and modeling, and interagency coordination and messaging.
    How do these eruptions compare physically? In 1984, about 58 billion gallons were erupted and covered an area of 11,860 acres. The 2022 eruption produced almost 40 billion gallons and covered an area of 8,900 acres. The volume and area covered was close to the average and median values for all historical NERZ eruptions. While it was spectacular, the 2022 eruption was ordinary.
    Fortunately, these two eruptions have not greatly impacted infrastructure on the Island of Hawai'i, but future eruptions at some point will. HVO appreciates our community awareness and preparedness for eruptions, which are part of the dynamic and beautiful landscape of Hawai'i nei.
    Volcano Activity Updates: Kīlauea is erupting. Its USGS Volcano Alert level is at WATCH. Kīlauea updates are issued daily.
    Kīlauea volcano's summit eruption in Halemaʻumaʻu crater within Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park continues, with active lava in three locations. Summit tilt has been mostly flat over most of the past week. Summit earthquake activity remains low and eruptive tremor (a signal associated with fluid movement) is present. A sulfur dioxide emission rate of 2,000 tonnes per day was measured on February 13. For Kīlauea monitoring data, see https://www.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/past-week-monitoring-data-kilauea.
    Mauna Loa is not erupting. Its USGS Volcano Alert Level is at ADVISORY. Mauna Loa updates are issued weekly on Thursdays.
    Webcams show no signs of activity on Mauna Loa. Seismicity remains low. Deformation rates show inflation somewhat above background levels, but this is not uncommon following eruptions. Sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission rates are at background levels. For Mauna Loa monitoring data, see: https://www.usgs.gov/volcanoes/mauna-loa/monitoring-data.
    There were nine earthquakes with 3 or more felt reports in the Hawaiian Islands during the past week: 
a M2.2 earthquake 14 km (8 mi) ESE of Pāhala at 27 km (17 mi) depth on Feb. 15 at 6:25 a.m. HST, 
a M4.8 earthquake 12 km (7 mi) SE of Pāhala at 31 km (19 mi) depth on Feb.14 at 9:27 p.m. HST, 
a M2.0 earthquake 10 km (6 mi) ENE of Pāhala at 31 km (19 mi) depth on Feb. 14 at 9:23 p.m. HST, 
a M2.3 earthquake 9 km (5 mi) NE of Pāhala at 31 km (19 mi) depth on Feb. 14 at 10:45 a.m. HST, 
a M3.4 earthquake 13 km (8 mi) ESE of Pāhala at 29 km (18 mi) depth on Feb. 14 at 6:42 a.m. HST, 
a M2.4 earthquake 4 km (2 mi) SSW of Kapaau at -2 km (-1 mi) depth on Feb. 13 at 6:59 a.m. HST, 
a M3.8 earthquake 12 km (7 mi) ESE of Pāhala at 30 km (18 mi) depth on Feb. 11 at 4:21 p.m. HST, 
a M2.7 earthquake 3 km (1 mi) WSW of Honalo at 10 km (6 mi) depth on Feb. 10 at 6:23 p.m. HST, 
and a M3.3 earthquake 48 km (30 mi) SW of Captain Cook at 38 km (24 mi) depth on Feb. 10 at 6:26 a.m. HST.
   HVO continues to closely monitor the ongoing eruption at Kīlauea, and Mauna Loa. Visit HVO's website for past Volcano Watch articles, Kīlauea and Mauna Loa updates, volcano photos, maps, recent earthquake info, and more. Email questions to askHVO@usgs.gov.

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.