Pele awakens on April 30, 2018, with tremors, quakes, and the floor collapse of Pu’u Ō’ō crater. From that moment on more small tremors and a few larger quakes (some measuring over 4.0 in magnitude) begin occurring on the lower east rift zone miles away from Pu’u Ō’ō crater itself. Finally, by May 4, deep fissures open through neighborhoods in Leilani Estates near the eastern-most tip of the island, about 15 miles from the crater.
At around 12:33 PM (HST) on May 4, 2018, an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.9 occurred in line between the Pu’u Ō’ō crater and the Leilani Estates. It was a jolt felt by most everyone, including all of us on the Kona side. Until that moment it was hard to comprehend the magnitude of what was happening almost 80 miles away to the east.
As a result of that larger quake, the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park closed and began evacuating all visitors and non-essential personnel when it triggered rock falls on trails.Including a shoreline collapse near the Holei Sea Arch at the bottom of the chain of craters road. Once park personnel are sure it’s safe, they will reopen the National Park.
Mahalo to all of you sending concerned emails and texts. I can assure you we are all fine and ask that you send good thoughts to those in Leilani Estates and the surrounding area who are in the process of evacuating to shelters. We hope this event is short-lived and causes minimal damage.