Hawaii on red alert after fissure six on Kilauea becomes active again

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The Hawaii Volcano Observatory (HVO) has raised a red alert, after fissure six of the Kilauea Volcano became active again on Wednesday – leading to increased ash emissions.

The areas to be worst affected by the latest development include Leilani Avenue and Pohoiki Road. There is also increased lava flow in the area.

“They have noted lava fountaining and spatter as of about 4:45pm. The flow from fissure 17 has had little advancement since this morning,” said the Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency on Wednesday.

Ash has been rising nearly continuously from the vent and drifting downwind to the southwest. Ashfall and vog have also been reported along Highway 11 to Pahala. At any time, activity may increase the intensity of ash production.

The Hawaii Fire Department reports that air quality is condition RED around fissures in the southeast area of Lanipuna Gardens and surrounding farm lots on Pohoiki Road.

Condition RED means immediate danger to health. People have been told to take action to limit further exposure.

It said severe conditions may exist such as choking and inability to breathe. Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) gas from fissures is especially dangerous for elderly, children/babies and people with respiratory problems.

The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) announced that Highway 130 is open beyond Malama Street for local residents only. The Hawaii Police Department reports no large trailers or heavy equipment will be allowed over the metal plates.

Highway 132 is closed at Pohoiki Road intersection and a checkpoint is located on Highway 130 by Pahoa High School. Only local traffic is allowed beyond all roadblocks.

As a precautionary measure, residents of lower Puna are advised to be on the alert in the event of possible gas emissions and volcanic eruption. Because there may be little to no advance notice to evacuate. They have been asked to prepare for evacuation on short notice.

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