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Friday, December 29, 2023

Kaʻū News Briefs December 29, 2023

Photograph of the Dec. 31, 1974 eruption from the Southwest Rift Zone of Kīlauea. This early morning shot shows the lava fountains feeding the eruption and throwing lava bombs to 115–130 feet (35–40 meters) high. This eruption was very brief, lasting from 2:56 a.m. to around 8:50 a.m.
USGS photo by Robin Holcomb

NEW YEAR'S EVE 1974 IS THE DATE OF THE MOST RECENT ERUPTION BETWEEN  PĀHALA AND VOLCANO in the Southwest Rift Zone of Kilauea volcano. This week's Volcano Watch, written by Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologist Drew Downs, explains, in the context of recent seismic activity in the area: 
     Kīlauea is one of the most active volcanoes on Earth, with a majority of its eruptions occurring at its summit or one of its two rift zones, the East Rift Zone and Southwest Rift Zone. The Southwest Rift Zone hasn't erupted since New Year's Eve 1974; almost exactly 49 years ago.
    Recent activity at Kīlauea has been concentrated at the summit (2008–2018 and 2020–2023 eruptions), middle East Rift Zone at Puʻuʻōʻō (1983–2018), and the lower East Rift Zone eruption (2018). These eruptions have all demonstrated Kīlauea's awe-inspiring behavior, with sometimes tragic impacts.
    Now is an apt time to revisit the 1974 Southwest Rift Zone eruption in the wake of the recent elevated
The Southwest Rift Zone paralells Hwy 11 from Kilauea caldera
to the ocean near Punalu'u. Image from Smithsonian Institute

seismicity in similar areas. Elevated earthquake activity, sometimes over a hundred earthquakes a day, has been occurring since early October in the south caldera and Southwest Rift Zone regions of Kīlauea.
    Kīlauea erupted three times in 1974; twice at the summit—in July and September—and once from the Southwest Rift Zone in December. Immediately following the September 1974 summit eruption, the summit region of Kīlauea started undergoing very high rates of inflation (approximately 30 microradians of ground tilt from September to December).
    Seismicity increased in the summit and upper East Rift Zone regions for the month leading up to the December eruption. By the evening of December 30, the summit and upper Southwest Rift Zone were experiencing earthquakes at a rate of 2–4 per minute. Just after midnight, at 12:10 a.m. HST on December 31, the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) seismic alarm sounded, tiltmeters recorded sharp deflation, and increased tremor indicated that magma was on the move out of the summit region.
    HVO staff did not have long to wait, with the first lava fountains observed on New Year's Eve at 2:56 a.m. HST in the Kaʻū Desert region of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. These lava fountains reached average heights of 115–130 feet (35–40 meters), but on rare occasions threw lava bombs up to 330 feet (100 meters) high. Over ten fissures eventually opened during the first hour of the eruption, to the east-northeast and west-southwest, forming a near-continuous fountain of lava that stretched over 2.5 miles (4.2 kilometers) long.
USGS map showing numerous earthquakes on the Southwest 
Rift Zone for nine days in October of this year. 
    Lava fountain heights started to rapidly decline throughout the morning and the eruption was over by 8:50 a.m. HST. Despite the short duration of this eruption—only about six hours—lava managed to flow approximately 7.5 miles (12 kilometers) from source fountains, emplacing an uncommonly thin (typically less than 1 meter or 3 feet thick) lava flow across a large area of the upper Southwest Rift Zone.
    HVO continues to monitor the ongoing unrest in the summit and Southwest Rift Zone regions of Kīlauea, with increased rates of earthquakes and ground deformation indicating that magma is moving in this area. Learn about this activity in Kīlauea updates that posted daily at https://www.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/volcano-updates.
    Whether this increase in activity over the past several months is a prelude to a new eruption in the Southwest Rift Zone in the near future, or if another summit eruption will occur is not possible to forecast currently. However, the Southwest Rift Zone remains an active part of Kīlauea that will experience lava flows in the future.

Volcano Activity Updates: Kīlauea is not erupting. Its USGS Volcano Alert level is ADVISORY.
The unrest associated with the intrusion that began in early October southwest of Kīlauea's summit continues. Earthquake activity in Kīlauea's summit region over the past week remained relatively low. The Uēkahuna tiltmeter—located northwest of the caldera—showed several microradians of net tilt over the past week, as did the Sand Hill tiltmeter—located southwest of the caldera. Unrest may continue to wax and wane with changes to the input of magma into the area and eruptive activity could occur in the near future with little or no warning. The most recent sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission rate for the summit—approximately 70 tonnes per day—was measured on December 5.
    Mauna Loa is not erupting. Its USGS Volcano Alert Level is at NORMAL.
    Webcams show no signs of activity on Mauna Loa. Summit seismicity has remained at low levels over the past month. Ground deformation indicates continuing slow inflation as magma replenishes the reservoir system following the 2022 eruption. SO2 emission rates are at background levels.
    Three earthquakes were reported felt in the Hawaiian Islands during the week ending Wednesay: a M3.4 earthquake 14 km (8 mi) SW of Volcano at 27 km (16 mi) depth on Dec. 23 at 4:42 HST p.m., a M4.0 earthquake 13 km (8 mi) SW of Volcano at 27 km (17 mi) depth on Dec. 23 at 4:27 p.m. HST, a M2.9 earthquake 15 km (9 mi) S of Volcano at 1 km (0 mi) depth on Dec. 23 at 12:51 p.m. HST.
    HVO continues to closely monitor Kīlauea and Mauna Loa.

Dr. Kimo Alameda is in Kaʻū
on Saturday to meet the people
during his 'Ohana Fun Day.
MAYORAL CANDIDATE DR. KIMO ALAMEDA said he will focus on getting to know more Kaʻū residents and discussing their issues this Saturday, Dec. 30 Kaʻū 'Ohana Fun Day event at Na'alehu Park & Community Center from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. He invites the public to join him at  9 a.m. for sign waving in Na'alehu before his event. All sign-wavers will receive a free double shaka t-shirt and be entered into a drawing to win prizes.
    Emcee will be Kurt Dela Cruse. Debbie Ryder's Halau Hula O Leionalani will perform as will Demetrius Oliveira & Friends. There will be water slides, basketball and pickleball games, face painting and Kupuna Bingo.
     The event is designed for family fun and Alameda said that the waterslide will be the biggest and the best that island has to offer. He said, "The Kupuna Bingo will be exciting, and Debbie Ryder's Halau will be performing some new and exciting numbers."
     Throughout the day, Alameda said, he will make his rounds listening to individuals and families, "hearing their concerns and possible solutions for a better South Hawai'i."
    See more on Alameda's run for Mayor of Hawai'i County at www.kimoformayor.com.

Police Activities League hosts a
Young Boxers Spring Showdown.
YOUTH BOXERS FROM KAʻŪ ARE INVITED TO JOIN other young boxers from around the island and beyond for the Hawai'i Island Police Activities League (HI-PAL) Youth Boxing Spring Showdown on Friday, March 22, 2024, at the Old Kona Airport Main Event Pavilion.
    Twenty bouts are planned for boys and girls age 8-17, with pre-matching done on a first come, first serve basis prior to event.
    Weigh-ins will be in the morning, time to be determined, with boxing matches beginning at 5:00 p.m. HI-PAL is teaming up with the Ikaikamauloa Youth Foundation (Kona Gold Boxing Club) for this exciting 
keiki event. 
Advance registration with the following groups is required to participate:
    Register with USA Boxing. Go to https://www.usaboxing.org/membership/registration to register your child with USA Boxing.
     Register with the Ikaikamauloa Youth Foundation. Click on the link below, email 
konagoldboxingclub@gmail.com, or call (808) 854-4469. Ikaikamauloa Youth Foundation registration form https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdwzsYHCllytwFak4OkWoHaSobtEwGjt4nmrbzkGHGr303DvA/viewform
    Fill out a HI-PAL permission/release form with Kona Community Policing Section. Contact Officer Leonard Warren of Kona Community Policing via email: leonard.warren@hawaiicounty.gov for the HI-PAL permission/release forms and/or for more information.
    For any additional questions, contact Kona Community Policing Officer Leonard Warren at (808) 326-4646, ext. 259.

Devan Delaney
DEVAN DELANEY OF OCEAN VIEW IS MISSING. Hawai‘i Island police are asking for the public’s assistanceIn locating THE 27-year-old , who was Last known to be in the area of the Kahuku Country Market in Ocean View on Tuesday, December 19, 2023, at 2 p.m., wearing blue jeans and a red/green colored shirt.
     Delaney is described as Caucasian with a slim build, 4 feet 11 inches tall, 90 po
unds, with brown hair and hazel eyes. She has an octopus tattoo on her right arm and a tattoo of a rose on her right thigh.
    Police are asking anyone with information on her whereabouts to call the police department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311

Tara Lasham
LOCATING TARA LASHAM, last seen in Ocean View, is an aim of Hawai‘i Island police who are renewing their request for the public’s assistance with locating the 39-year-old. She is wanted on an outstanding warrant and for questioning relative to a custodial interference investigation. Lasham may be in the company of her six-year-old daughter Solenne Grimes.
    The mother and daughter were last seen a year and a half ago, on Wednesday July 27, 2022, in Ocean View.
Tara is described as 5 feet 9 inches tall, 130 pounds, with blue eyes and blonde hair. She is known to frequent both north and south Kona areas. Solenne Grimes is described as 3 feet 5 inches tall, 35 pounds, with blue eyes and blonde hair.
    Police ask anyone with information on the whereabouts of Tara Lasham or Solenne Grimes to call the police department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311 or contact Detective John Kari by phone at (808) 326-4646, ext. 265, or by email at John.Kari@hawaiicounty.gov.
Those who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at (808) 961-8300. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.