June 27 Lava Flow Update – 12/17/14
Assessment of the June 27 active lava flow by Hawai’i County Civil Defense Wednesday shows that the flow front continues to advance in an east-northeast direction.
In the past 24 hours, the flow has advanced about 220 yards and the front is about 0.9 miles upslope from the Highway 130 and Pahoa Village Road intersection.
According to Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, since the new flow broke out on Nov. 9, the flow has advanced between 110 yards and 490 yards a day, with an average of about 330 yards a day.
The flow has been consistently following the calculated steepest descent path that has been based on a 1983 digital elevation model of the ground. According to officials, if the flow continues its weekly average of advancement and remains on this path, the flow could impact the Pahoa Marketplace and Highway 130 in as little as five days.
Currently, the flow is about 5 miles in length from the breakout point in the crack system to its current location, 0.9 miles from Highway 130.
At the current time, activity does not pose an immediate threat to the community, however, Civil Defense and HVO personnel will continue their observations.
Businesses in the Pahoa Marketplace have begun to make preparations for a possible evacuation and many businesses have already released statements that they will be closing their doors over the course of the next few days. Motorists driving in the area are advised to drive with caution and to be prepared for increased traffic, and large vehicles in the area.
Civil Defense reported moderate to heavy smoke conditions during its assessment. Light north winds are blowing smoke in a south-southeast direction. Smoke conditions have the possibility of increasing and those who have a history of respiratory issues are advised to take precautions and remain indoors.
During a Tuesday afternoon overflight, HVO scientists observed several breakouts upslope from the flow. These are in the areas along the margins of the new flow as well as from the crack system and upslope near Pu`u` Ō`ō. Officials say these breakouts have not slowed the active front.