Sunday, October 28, 2012

BC Canada earthquake triggers shoreline evacuations for Hawaii (And an eruption update)

As most of you would have heard by now, at 8:04 PM PST a powerful 7.7 earthquake with the shallow depth of 17.5 kilometers/11-miles, took place offshore of northern British Columbia, Canada.
The quake initially generated local tsunami warnings between southern Alaska down the coast to California as well as for the Hawaiian Islands; (I have family living in a houseboat on the outer west coast of BC, so was very concerned as the first reports were issued.).
Interestingly, there was never a Pacific-wide tsunami warning, only for Hawaii. The rationale for this appeared later in the evening when the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center geologists posted this amazing computer generated wave projection graphic (screen capture of meteorologist Guy Hagi on Hawaii News Now below):
The graphic shows the computer model projected a narrow thrust of quake waves across the Pacific Ocean and directly to the center of the Hawaii Island chain; hence the statewide evacuation orders for all coastal communities here in Hawaii. Below is the news reporting the projected wave-surge heights for Hawaii:
I live in one of those evacuation zones and the warning sirens began at around 7:30 PM local HS Time and repeated every half hour until 11:00 PM. No I did not evacuate; I was feeling quite safe at this particular location. ~~~ I was tempted, though, to drive to Hilo and set my camera up in some safe location where I could still see the Hilo Bay front and record any wave surge we might have. Hilo was one of the areas forecast to get the highest impact from any tsunami action. Hilo Bay has a record of devastation when it comes to these things. This time around there were reports of receding water that left moored boats high and dry for a few minutes. By 4:00 AM this morning all watches and warning related to this quake event were cancelled. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ON THE LAVA FRONT
Above: The Halema`uma`u Crater at dusk showing high lava levels this week; Courtesy of USGS/HVO. ~~~~~~~ We had an exciting week here actually. Molten lava levels within the active vent on the floor of Kilauea Volcano Halema`uma`u crater rose even higher than my last blog posting of 125 feet (lava lake to crater floor brim). The highest level reported by USGS/HVO reached 89-feet a few days ago, then deflation of the magma reservoirs occurred sharply, lowering the lava a bit and halting the rise as shown in the graphic below:
During these past weeks of rising lava levels there has been increased local earthquake action; particularly in one area southeast of the summit crater, down the Chain of Craters road a little ways toward the coast:
~~~~~~~~~ And lastly, the photo below is one I took a couple nights ago from Kalapana Gardens. It looks like daytime because there was a nearly full moon and I overexposed the image to bring out both the lava glow activity on the Pulama Pali and coastal plains, which can be seen best in the larger image size. That cloud hung up there for most of the night as winds ceased in all directions for a while in between weather systems.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Click on any image for a new window for a larger view size of all images ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Meanwhile I am fascinated to watch the incredibly massive & powerful storm system approaching the US Atlantic coastline right now—The weather systems meeting up in that region look to have the makings of severe damage over a very wide area. The satellite imagery linked (tools & data) on the National Hurricane Center website really shows just how huge and widespread this hurricane has become. I am hoping all of you in that region are out of harms way.


  1. Thanks for this very thorough update, Leigh.

  2. Hey thanks for the info.

    We are on a cruise ship passing the lava flow area at 11pm tonight.

    Your blog was helpful to me today.

  3. Hi Leigh!
    Love the Dolphin video, music with it is superb.
    Thanks for the warm fuzzy with our fellow creatures!