East Hawaii News

Lava Could Reach Pahoa Road by Sept. 24

September 9, 2014, 8:45 AM HST
* Updated September 9, 9:12 AM
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A lava breakout that began on June 27 along the northeast flank of Pu`u O`o could reach the Pahoa Government Road by Sept. 24 if it does not divert sooner, according to an information update released yesterday by the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory and the USGS.

The flow had been moving alternately between ground cracks and along the surface since Aug. 18 before reemerging on Sept. 6, and picking up speed.

Since reemerging, the flow has advanced at an average of 1,300 feet per day.

If the flow continues on its current track, HVO projects that lava could move through the northern section of Kaohe Homesteads, or slightly to the north of the residential area, reaching the government road in Pāhoa within 16-18 days.

This path could be disrupted or altered if the lava becomes further confined within the cracks and down-dropped blocks within the East Rift Zone of Kīlauea volcano.

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Kaohe Homesteads is located between the Wao Kele o Puna Forest Reserve and the town of Pāhoa in the Puna District of the County of Hawai`i.

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HVO’s estimates will be continually refined as they track the lava flow’s activity.

The Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō vent in the East Rift Zone of Kīlauea Volcano began erupting on Jan. 3, 1983, and has continued erupting for more than 31 years, with the majority of lava flows advancing to the south.

Over the past two years, lava flows have issued from the vent toward the northeast. The June 27 flow is the most recent of these flows and the first to threaten a residential area since 2010-2011, according to HVO.

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