P.M. UPDATE: Lava Flow Advances Another 130 Yards
The June 27 Kilauea Lava Flow front advanced another 130 yards between 7 a.m. and approximately 2:30 p.m. Thursday.
The findings were made during an afternoon overflight conducted by Hawai’i County Civil Defense and its administrator, Darryl Oliveira. A morning overflight showed that the flow gained about 425 yards between 7 a.m. Wednesday and 7 a.m. Thursday.
“It’s very narrow, and it’s in a bit of a channel, a topographical feature that’s keeping it narrow, as well as keeping it moving in a forward direction, northeast, downhill,” said Oliveira during an afternoon media briefing.
Oliveira said that the current flow front, a narrow finger that overtook the leading edge just two days ago, has entered a private parcel that has some pasture land and ohia forest. “It’s a mixture of…fairly tall grass, shrubbery, and tall trees. Below that area, it opens up intoto a pasture, so it will be more of a open field once it moves forward.”
Oliveira said that the flow remains 0.3 miles from the Apa’a St. area of the Pahoa Transfer Station. Because of the rapid movement of the flow, Apa’a St. and Cemetary Road was closed earlier in the day between the transfer station and Kaohe Homesteads Road.
Oliveira also announced that the Pahoa Transfer Station will be shut down at the close of business on Thursday. An alternate site will be located on Kauhale Road above the Pāhoa Neighborhood Facility.
Civil Defense has not issued any evacuation notices. Oliveira said that any notice will be given a minimum of three to five days of an actual evacuation date to give residents time to pack up.
“The reason for that is that we’d like to allow people adequate time so they can make their plans, even though they have been planning, some were still very hopeful that this would not continue to play out,” Oliveira explained. “We’d like to give them sufficient time so that they can move belongings and make arrangements they need to make in a very comfortable timeline.”
A 24-hour mobile command post has been set up near the Pahoa Transfer Station. It will be manned by Civil Defense personnel, who will be able to visually observe the lava flow at all times.
The current rate of advancement may be short lived, based on the topographical nature of the area. Oliveira stated that the flow will continue to move downhill for several hundred yards before the area flattens out shy of Apa’a St, slowing the rate of advancement of the flow.
Crews from Hawai’i Electric Light arrived this morning to install pole protection measures on three of its poles. Rhea Lee, Hawai’i Electric Light’s Public Information Officer, said that work is expected to be completed tomorrow.
“This is an experimental design. We don’t know if it going to work,” said Lee of the pole protection designs being installed. “We are very hopeful that it will work. A lot of effort went into designing the process that we’re using, the system that we’re using…we’re hopeful, but we don’t know until it actually happens.”
Electric crews continue to work on Government Beach Road to install additional power poles. No timetable has been given for completion in that area.
The lava flow front is currently 0.98 miles from Pahoa Village Road and 1.3 miles from Highway 130.
Oliveira said that another overflight is scheduled for Friday morning.