June 27 Lava Flow Update – 12/19/14
Hawai’i County Civil Defense’s Friday morning assessment of the June 27 lava flow shows that the flow, although narrow and slowed, remains active and advancing.
Over the course of the past 24 hours, the flow has advanced about 130 yards. At the current time, it remains about 0.8 miles upslope from the Highway 130 and Pahoa Village Road intersection.
Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports that personnel observed a stall in the southern branch of the flow, however, the north branch remains active.
If the north branch continues to follow its current descent path, the flow would reach the Pahoa Marketplace vicinity.
Officials say that flow activity does not pose an immediate threat to the community. Civil Defense and HVO personnel will continue their close watch of activities and keep both residents and businesses informed of any changes.
Businesses in the Pahoa Marketplace continue to make preparations and take necessary steps to prepare for the possibility of an evacuation. It is advised by Civil Defense that drivers in the area use care when driving and prepare for the possibility of increased traffic as large vehicles could be in the in the vicinity.
Officials are also keeping close observation on the breakouts from the lava tube on Dec. 5. Currently, those breakouts remain about 1.6 miles from Puʻu ʻŌʻō and are active.
HVO reports that several other breakouts have been observed along the edges and interior of the flow field. Some of these breakouts have advanced as much as 220 yards and were mapped by HVO personnel on their Thursday overflight.
Civil Defense reported moderate to heavy smoke conditions in the immediate area of the flow as a light trade wind is blowing the smoke in a south-southeast direction. As usual, smoke conditions have the possibility of increasing and it’s advised that individuals who have a history of respiratory issues or are sensitive take necessary precautions and stay indoors.
Hawai’i County Mayor Billy Kenoi announced during Thursday evening’s lava community meeting at the Pahoa High School cafeteria that Railroad Avenue will be opened to the public beginning Saturday at noon. The opening comes well in advance of the flow crossing Highway 130. According to Civil Defense Administrator Darryl Oliveira, the County wanted to open the road early enough so that the public could feel safe and get familiar with the road in advance of the lava crossing Highway 130.