Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015

USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists are closely monitoring recent signs of unrest on Mauna Loa, the largest active
volcano on Earth.In this 1985 aerial photo, Mauna Loa looms above Kilauea's summit caldera at left center and nearly obscures
Hualalai in the far distant upper right. Photo from USGS
THE TSUNAMI ADVISORY ISSUED yesterday following an 8.3-magnitude earthquake off the coast of Chile that sent 3 ft. and 2.3 ft.tsunami waves into Hilo and a .9 ft. tsunami wave into Kawaehaie, before dawn this morning, has been cancelled. The earthquake prompted Hawai`i Civil Defense officials to warn people to stay out of the ocean when small tsunami waves were expected to arrive at around 3 a.m. today. Though beach parks remained officially open, small sea level changes, possible surges and unusual currents were expected to persist for several additional hours in some coastal areas.
Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has cancelled the tsunami advisory issued yesterday.
      According to Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, wave heights as of 7:34 a.m. across the state were below advisory levels and continuing to diminish.
       Hawai`i County Civil Defense issued an all clear for the island effective at 8 a.m. this morning. All beach parks are open.
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FLASH FLOODING AT KAWA shut down Hwy 11 yesterday evening between Punalu`u and Honu`apo. Ka`u was under a flash flood warning for several hours
     Hwy 11 at Kawa Flats was closed, according to Hawai`i Police Department announcements, from  7:29 p.m. to 11:14 p.m.
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AN ELEVATED MAUNA LOA ERUPTION ADVISORY has been issued by the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. Scientists have elevated Mauna Loa’s Volcano Alert Level from NORMAL to ADVISORY. This change in status indicates that the volcano is showing signs of unrest that are above known background levels, but it does not mean that a Mauna Loa eruption is imminent or certain.
       According to HVO, its seismic stations have recorded elevated rates of shallow, small-magnitude earthquakes beneath the summit, upper Southwest Rift Zone and west flank of Mauna Loa for at least the past year. During this same time, HVO monitoring instruments have measured ground deformation (inflation) on Mauna Loa that is consistent with recharge of the volcano’s shallow magma storage system. Together, these observations indicate that Mauna Loa is no longer at a background level of activity.
       Based on these changes in activity, and in accordance with the USGS Volcanic Activity Alert-Notification System (http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/activity/alertsystem/index.php), HVO raised the Volcano Alert Level for Mauna Loa to ADVISORY and the Aviation Color Code to YELLOW. The Volcano Alert Level is a four-tiered system that uses the terms Normal (background levels), Advisory, Watch, and Warning (highest threat) to inform the public about a volcano’s status. These alert levels are issued in conjunction with Aviation Color Codes, which provide information about volcanic-ash hazards to the aviation industry. The codes are Green (background), Yellow, Orange, and Red (eruption imminent).
HVO's network of continuously recording equipment
detects changes in Mauna Loa. Map from HV
       An ADVISORY/YELLOW status is declared when one or more volcano monitoring parameters is above the background range of activity, which is the current situation on Mauna Loa. Progression toward an eruption is by no means certain, but the volcano is closely watched to track how the unrest develops.
      “It’s possible that the increased level of activity at Mauna Loa could continue for many months, or years, without leading to an eruption,” Tina Neal, HVO’s Scientist-in-Charge, said. “It is also possible that the current unrest could be a precursor to the next eruption of Mauna Loa. But at this early stage, we cannot determine precisely which possibility is more likely.”
       HVO previously maintained an ADVISORY/YELLOW status for Mauna Loa following increased rates of ground deformation during the rapid inflation of the volcano in 2004-2005. That period of inflation, similar to deformation currently observed, did not result in an eruption. When the inflation slowed to background levels in early 2010, the status of Mauna Loa was returned to NORMAL/GREEN.
       The most recent eruption of Mauna Loa, which began on March 25, 1984 and lasted just over three weeks, was preceded by up to three years of increased earthquake activity. But, in contrast to pre-1984 activity, the energy released by recent earthquakes remains comparatively low.
       HVO continues to closely monitor Mauna Loa and will notify Hawai`i County Civil Defense, the National Park Service and other emergency managers, as well as the public, if significant changes are detected.
       In response to the status change, HVO is now posting weekly Mauna Loa updates on the HVO website (http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/activity/maunaloastatus.php). It is possible to receive these updates via email by signing up for HVO notices through the free USGS Volcano Notification Service (http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/vns/).
       “The alert level change at Mauna Loa reminds us that it is an active volcano that will erupt again someday, so we should be prepared,” said Frank Trusdell, an HVO geologist who has extensively studied and mapped Mauna Loa. To facilitate public awareness and preparedness, HVO has posted on its website “Frequently Asked Questions about Mauna Loa” (http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/maunaloa/FAQ_Maunaloa/). Current monitoring data for Mauna Loa is also posted on the HVO website at http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/maunaloa/current/currentmonitoring.php.
      For more information about Mauna Loa, other active Hawaiian volcanoes and recent earthquakes in Hawai`i, see http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov or email askHVO@usgs.gov.
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THIS IS NATIONAL CHILD PASSENGER Safety Week. Ka`u parents and caregivers can learn how to correctly install child safety seats and properly buckle up their keiki, whether it’s in car seats, booster seats or when using the vehicle’s seat belts, at events in Hilo and Kona on Saturday. 
      Hawai`i’s Child Passenger Restraint Law requires children less than four years of age to ride in a child safety seat. Children four through seven years old must ride in a child passenger restraint or booster seat. In addition, the American Academy of Pediatrics is now advising that children ride rear-facing until at least the age of two.
      Violators are required to appear in court. If convicted, violators are required to attend a four-hour class and may be assessed a penalty of $100-$500, depending on the number of offenses.
      “We can and need to do better to protect our keiki,” HDOT Director Ford Fuchigami said. “Get your car seats checked. Even if you think your child is safe, check again. Statistics show that 59 percent of car seats are misused.”
      Inspections will be conducted by certified child passenger safety technicians who have been trained to provide instruction on how to choose the right car seats, how to install them and how to use them correctly.
      Inspections are Saturday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Target in Hilo and Lanihau Center on Palani Road in Kona.
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HAWAI`I’S SEASONALLY ADJUSTED unemployment rate for August was 3.5 percent, down from 3.7 percent in July, the state Department of Labor & Industrial Relations announced today. The last time rate was at or below 3.5 percent was in March 2008 when it was 3.4 percent. Statewide, 649,350 were employed and 23,700 unemployed in August for a total seasonally adjusted labor force of 673,050. Nationally, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 5.1 percent in August, down from 5.3 percent in July.
      Both initial claims and weeks claims decreased by 266 or -18.2 percent and 2,220 or -22.9 percent respectively for unemployment benefits compared to one year ago.
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`O KA`U KAKOU’S FUNDRAISER, the second annual Ka`u Coffee Trail Run, is Saturday at Ka`u Coffee Mill above Pahala. Race packets are available on race day from 6 a.m. to 6:40 a.m. Race day registration closes at 6:30 a.m., with the 5K, 10K and Half Marathon starting at 7 a.m. Entertainment and activities are available for runners and their friends and families cheering them on.
      For more information, see race360.com/21357.

Ka`u residents are invited to Get the Drift & Bag It during a Hawai`i
Wildlife fund coast cleanup Sunday. HWF Photo by C. King
GET THE DRIFT & BAG IT by joining Hawai`i Wildlife Fund’s Ka`u Coast Cleanup on Sunday. Volunteers meet staff at Wai`ohinu Park at 7:45 a.m. to carpool to Kamilo for this International Coastal Cleanup event. 
      Register at 769-7629 or kahakai.cleanups@gmail.com.

TICKETS ARE STILL AVAILABLE for Sunday’s Jazz in the Forest: Evening of the Jazz Divas at Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus in Volcano Village.
      Tickets for the 4:30 p.m. matinee are $15 for VAC members ($20 non-members) and for the 7:30 p.m. evening show are $20 for VAC members ($25 non-members).
      See volcanoartcenter.org or call 967-8222.

KA`U COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PLAN Steering Committee meets one week from today, on Thursday, Sept. 24, at 5:30 p.m. at Pahala Community Center. The focus will be on the shoreline setback policy, the land use policy map and “easy fixes” to the Draft CDP. The meeting is open to the community, and public testimony is welcome.
      The meeting originally scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 22 to make final recommendations for CDP revisions and adoption has been moved to Tuesday, Oct. 27.
      See kaucdp.info for more.

For tickets, call Kumu Hula Debbie Ryder at 315-7032 or 649-9334.
E PILI KAUA PA`INA is two weeks from today. The fundraiser is for Uhane Pohaku Na Moku O Hawai`i, a nonprofit that works with challenged youth though agriculture and traditional Hawaiian skill building. The evening features entertainment by Mark Yamanaka and a roast pork dinner on the grounds of Pahala Plantation House on Thursday, Oct. 1 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Donation is $25.
      For tickets, call Kumu Hula Debbie Ryder at 315-7032 or 649-9334.


See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_Sept2015.pdf.

See kaucalendar.com/Directory2015.swf
and kaucalendar.com/Directory2015.pdf.

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