East Hawaii News

New Fast-Paced Lava Front Closes Roads

October 23, 2014, 10:18 AM HST
* Updated October 23, 11:00 AM
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Hawai’i County Civil Defense announced in a release Thursday morning that the narrow finger of the June 27 lava flow has advanced approximately 425 yards since yesterday. The front had taken over the original flow front in the past two days.

The new flow front is active and continues to move in a northeast direction.

As of this morning’s assessment by Civil Defense, the advancing flow is approximately 0.3 miles from the Apa’a St. area.

Due to the change in flow activity and advancement, Apa’a St. and Cemetery Road will be closed between the Pahoa Transfer Station and Kaohe Homesteads Road.

Civil Defense and public safety personnel will also be in the area around the clock to maintain close observations of flow activity.

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Burning activity has remained at a minimum and smoke conditions are moderate. Brush fires are not currently a threat.

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According to the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, lava continues to erupt at a low discharge rate from Puʻu ʻŌʻō into the June 27 flow lava tube.

HVO explained in a release late last night that after scientists mapped the area yesterday afternoon via helicopter, the length of the flow was measured to be 11.1 miles as measured as a straight line and 12.9 miles as measured along the axis of the flow.

According to HVO, the flow is continuing to follow the steepest-descent path toward Pahoa.

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The original flow front has also continued movement at a rate of about 44 yards in the past two days.

HVO has an overflight scheduled for Friday.

Current flow activity does not pose an immediate threat to communities in the area and there no evacuations currently taking place. Should evacuations become necessary, residents of affected areas will be given adequate notice to safely evacuate.

The next lava flow community update meeting will be held Thursday, Oct. 23 at 6:30 p.m. at the Pahoa High School Cafeteria with representatives from Civil Defense and HVO.

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