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Naming fissure 8: State board could make recommendation for official moniker by midyear

The state Board of Geographic Names is convening a group to recommend an official moniker for fissure 8.

Arthur Buto, GIS program manager for the state Office of Planning, said the group will include up to three board members plus several Hawaii Island residents.

That work will get started after the board confirms the scope and timeline for the effort, which likely will be done at its February meeting in Honolulu. Community meetings will be held in Puna, he said.

The fissure, located in Leilani Estates, is one of 24 that opened in lower Puna during the 2018 Kilauea eruption, and became its most well-known and prominent volcanic feature.

It produced lava fountains as high as 260 feet, creating a large cone and channelized flow that came to dominate the eruption.

The eruption, which lasted from May until early September, destroyed more than 700 homes and erased entire subdivisions. It was the largest in the lower East Rift Zone in more than 200 years.

Buto said the group’s work could be complete by mid-2019.

Several names already have been submitted by the public.

Those names, along with the meanings, if submitted, are:

• Pu‘u Kupaianaha (surprise, strange, wonderful, marvelous);

• Pu‘u O Luku (hill of destruction);

• Keahiluawalu O Pele;

• Ahu‘aila‘au (named after a Hawaiian deity);

• Keahilapalapa (spreading fire).

The County Council, through a resolution introduced by Hilo Councilwoman Sue Lee Loy, urged the board last year to come up with a name and consult community members with traditional, cultural and familial ties to the district.

Buto said the board likely will invite Lee Loy or Puna Councilwoman Ashley Kierkiewicz to be part of the process.

Once a name is settled on, the board will send it to the U.S. Geological Survey for consideration.

Applications for name suggestions can be found at

Email Tom Callis at
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald

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