June 27 Lava Flow Update – 12/21/14
The June 27 lava flow remains active as it continues to progress slowly towards the Pahoa Marketplace vicinity.
A slowed rate of advancement has been seen over the past three days, and according to Hawai’i County Civil Defense’s Sunday morning assessment, the narrow flow has only advanced 85 yards in the past 24 hours.
Currently the flow is about 0.6 miles from the Highway 130 and Pahoa Village Road intersection.
Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said Sunday morning that, should the descent path in the area of the north portion of the flow continue to be followed, the flow will be taken to the Pahoa Marketplace.
Additionally, HVO’s ground crew reported Saturday that the active flow was about 110 yards wide at midday and was trekking through rough, hazardous terrain.
The southern branch of the flow was also noted as stalled, an occurrence that began Friday.
HVO officials on a Thursday overflight said breakouts that occurred Dec. 5 remained active and appeared to still be burning vegetation Saturday afternoon. These breakouts are about 1.6 miles from Puʻu ʻŌʻō.
Activity from the lava flow is not currently posing an immediate threat to communities in the area. Civil Defense, along with HVO personnel, are maintaining close watch over the flow and residents and businesses in downslope areas will continue to be kept informed of any changes.
Business in the Pahoa Marketplace have begun to prepare for a possible evacuation. Many businesses have already closed their doors, some relocating to other areas, and other have continued to remain open until they are instructed to evacuate. Motorists driving in the area are advised to use caution. Traffic in the area may be increased and large vehicles may be in the area.
Civil Defense reported moderate smoke conditions Sunday morning as a light trade wind was blowing smoke in a south-southeast direction. As usual, these smoke conditions have the possibility of increasing and it is advised that individuals who have a history of respiratory issues take necessary precautions and remain indoors.
Railroad Avenue has been opened as an alternative access road and was opened Saturday at 12 p.m. Access to the road gives motorists the opportunity to familiarize with the road and traffic flow.
At this time, Highway 130 remains open and there is currently no anticipated road closure.