East Hawaii News

June 27 Lava Flow Picks Up Speed Toward Wao Kele O Puna

September 7, 2014, 5:17 PM HST
* Updated September 7, 5:20 PM
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Hawai`i County Civil Defense Administrator Darryl Oliveira announced Sunday that the June 27 lava flow remains eight-tenths of a mile away from the Wao Kele O Puna Forest Reserve, but seems to be picking up speed.

Oliveira, in a radio message delivered Sunday morning, said that the lava flow had advanced 200 yards from Saturday morning’s helicopter assessment. Officials had done another assessment early Sunday morning before the update was given.

“This morning’s assessment shows the surface lava flow continues very slowly in the north direction,” Oliveira said in the message. “Very little vegetation is burning and there is no wildfire threat at this time.”

The 200-yard figure given by Oliveira is approximately the same amount that the flow had traveled between Thursday and Saturday. The June 27 flow, named after the date it erupted out of the Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater crater, had crept forward about 150 yards between Thursday and Friday and another 50 yards between Friday and Saturday.

Oliveira said that the flow is heading upslope of the Wao Kele O Puna Forest Reserve boundary and moving north, parallel to the forest reserve’s boundary.

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Oliveira said that there is still no immediate threat to the Kaohe Homesteads or neighboring communities, but reminds those that live in those areas to continue to go over their emergency plans.

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The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Thursday placed its alert level in a warning status on Thursday. That has allowed the County to restrict access to the Kaohe Homestead area to residents only. No other measures have been put in place.

Additional community meetings have been scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 9, and Thursday, Sept. 11 at the Pahoa High School Cafeteria. The sessions, organized jointly by Civil Defense and the HVO, will start at 6:30 p.m.

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