PUNA, BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - Officials from USGS and the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park gave an update of several eruption-related events on the Big Island.
Here's what they confirmed:
► The Hawaii park remains closed due to strong and damaging quakes on Friday (6.9 magnitude). Aftershocks have continued throughout the day on Saturday, along with elevated levels of volcanic gas at the summit level.
► At the national park site, there was a small rockfall that created an ash cloud. Park officials say they are still measuring the impacts.
► 2,600 park visitors were evacuated Friday, and the closure will continue indefinitely.
► In the lower-east rift zone overnight Friday, activity slowed down and died at fissure no. 6, but the area picked up activity on Saturday, creating two new fissure vents, bringing the total of eruptions up to eight. "The bottom line is that we've got additional outbreaks of lava within the Leilani subdivision just as we anticipated," said Tina Neal with the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.
►There is currently still a fairly low level of lava output, but small lava flows are starting to form and move tens of yards away from the active fissure.
► Neal also warned Big Island residents to prepare for a long period of seismic and volcanic. "The prognosis is for this to continue, we see no slow down in activity," Neal said. There were eight aftershocks after Friday's earthquake recorded above a
► The volcanic gas seeping out of fissure vents can be toxic, and residents are advised to stay away from areas where fissures leaked gas.