Categorized | Featured, News, Weather

Thick vog smothers East Hawaii, Puna, Volcano and Ka‘u areas

Sunday morning (Jan 17) video stream by Baron Sekiya | Hawaii 24/7.

Vog shrouds the coastline of Hilo Bay as seen from Liliuokalani Gardens Sunday morning (Jan 17). Photography by Baron Sekiya | Hawaii 24/7.

Voggy conditions at Liliuokalani Gardens in Hilo.

Panorama of Halemaumau from Hawaii Volcanoes Observatory. Image taken Jan 17, 2010 at 8:14 a.m.

Sulfur Dioxide concentrations are high in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Sunday morning (Jan 17).

The air quality monitor in Hilo is not providing data but from reports we’ve heard it’s bad in Hilo.

Hawaii County Civil Defense reported that persistent light winds are causing poor air quality across Hawaii Island, especially in the communities in upper Puna and Ka‘u, due to emissions from Kilauea volcano. However, heavier than normal vog is being reported Island wide.

The National Weather Service is forecasting wind conditions to stay the same through the holiday weeked. Individual reactions to the emmissions in your area will vary.

Elevated levels of SO2 can cause breathing problems in individuals, especially those with pre-existing respiratory conditions, such as asthma, emphysema, and bronchitis. If you have respiratory conditions and live or work in an area being impacted by smoke or vog, consider taking precautionary measures.

The DOH offers the following guidelines:

  • Stay indoors and close your windows and doors.
  • Check that your air conditioner or air purifier is working properly, change filters if necessary.
  • If you take medication, make sure you have an adequate supply and use them as directed by your physician. Contact your physician if you need more medication and get clear instructions of what to do if your lung condition suddenly worsens.
  • Do not smoke and avoid second-hand smoke.
  • Avoid people who have colds and other lung infections and wash your hands thoroughly.
  • Get plenty of rest and limit physical exertion.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to loosen mucus. Warm beverages seem to work best.
  • Contact your physician as soon as any respiratory problem develops.
  • If possible leave the affected area.

While these suggestions are intended primarily for persons with respiratory or chronic lung disease, they are also useful for healthy persons during air pollution episodes such as particulates dust, brush fires, firework smoke, or volcanic haze.

For further information regarding air quality contact the Clean Air Branch at 586-4200.

If you wish to obtain additional information on respiratory health contact the American Lung Association of Hawai’i at 537-5966 or visit their website at

For more information visit the Hawaii 24/7 Weather Page for current SO2 conditions on the Big Island.

3 Responses to “Thick vog smothers East Hawaii, Puna, Volcano and Ka‘u areas”

  1. Quince Mento says:

    Baron & Karin,

    Mahalo with helping get info out. The emissions are unpleasant, but something we unfortunately have to expect & learn to live with.

  2. patticake says:

    We were just in Kona (March 2010) and the Vog was very heavy almost every day. It usually comes in by noon or 1:00 pm and stays the rest of the day – sometimes blowing off by sunset. Couple of days it was all day long. It was quite a shock to see the atmosphere ruined by this Vog! People need to know about this before going over there. The Kahola coast has less due to winds and the north side of the island is Vog free.

  3. Rachael M says:

    Was just in Kona a few weeks ago. I was really disappointed at the vog effects as I was there on my honeymoon and hoping for 2 weeks of beautiful beachy weather. I had no idea about these conditions either because the weather channel says it is sunny every day in Kaiula-Kona (I checked the forecast every day for nearly a month!). It was nice around 6AM but by 8AM or 9AM the vog rolled in and didn’t blow off until sunset or later. Only had one day with more than 3 hours of sun in Kona. Drove over to Hilo a couple times and up north to get some sun. We should’ve gone to another island or stayed on the northern coasts!


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.