East Hawaii News

June 27 Lava Flow Update – 10/28/14

October 28, 2014, 2:04 PM HST
* Updated October 28, 2:07 PM
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The June 27 lava flow has continued to remain active but has been very inconsistent in its advance rate.

A Tuesday morning Hawai’i County Civil Defense release announced that the flow has traveled only about 90 yards since Monday.

As of an 11:30 a.m. media briefing, Civil Defense Administrator Darryl Oliveira announced that the flow has been watched by the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory overnight and the inconsistency of the lava advancement rate numbers can be explained by spurts of lava movement.

“It has been observed through the night by HVO that there were periods of rapid movement as well as periods stalling or very slow movement. This gives us an idea of why we didn’t see a very large number, because it was in spurts. This morning, the flow has advanced another 30 yards. The current estimated advance rate is about 10 yards per hour and this morning’s location was 510 yards from Pahoa Village Road,” according to Oliveira

The initial residential property that was reported on Monday as the first in the flow’s path was reached by the flow early Tuesday morning, however at this point in time, the residential structure had not been damaged.

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“Around 4:30 a.m. the advancing flow entered into a private residential property. It did not impact any structures, initially,” Oliveira announced Tuesday. “However, as of 7 a.m. Tuesday, a gardening shed on the property had been impacted by lava and burned down.”

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The structure measured about 150 square feet and appeared to have been used for agricultural purposes. It was empty upon impact.

Smoke conditions in the area are light to moderate with moderate trade winds from the northeast pushing smoke in the south west direction

There is a possibility for smoke condition to increase and residents who have a history of respiratory problems are advised to take necessary precautions and to remain indoors.

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Civil Defense may issue additional advisories depending on materials involved with any fires associated with the lava flow. However, the burning is currently limited to vegetation.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists have continued to monitor the leading portions of the flow both in the air and on the ground throughout the day and night.

HVO and Civil Defense both projected that the flow will cross Pahoa Village Road between Apa’a Street and Post Office Road.

Hawai’i Electric light has continued to monitor the pole that was initially impacted by lava along Apa’a Street and has continued to make plans for poles along Pahoa Village Road.

According to Hawai’i Eleciric Light spokeswoman Kristen Okinaka, the utility company will not employee the same strategy of protective covering that they did with four poles along Apa’a Street. Instead, Hawai’i Electric Light has other contingency plans.

“Hawai’i Electric Light has a contingency, not that we are going to do it, depending on the flow, but we could expand our lines there because it’s between about Apa’a Street and the Post Office Road and, depending on the way the flow goes, we could use that option. As far as the pole protection, we won’t be protecting any of those poles because of the distance between the poles,” Okinaka said during the briefing.

The current location, direction, and advancement of the lava flow, has placed residents in the flow path on an evacuation advisory.

Residents in the downslope area of the flow will continue to be kept informed of the flow status, advancement rate, and possibility of evacuation.

“The community has overwhelmingly come up with solutions for alternate accommodations. Many are living with other family or friends. Very few have expressed the need for shelters, however, we have over the last two days opened a shelter and no one has showed up, so we have been very fortunate. A lot of that is credit to the community with doing what they need to do to be better prepared for something like this,” according to Oliveira.

Pahoa Village Road between Apa’a Street and the Post Office Road continues to remain closed.

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

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