East Hawaii News

Officials Monitor New June 27 Lava Flow Breakout

February 20, 2015, 12:21 PM HST
* Updated February 20, 12:22 PM
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A breakout along the north margin of the June 27 lava flow is being closely monitored by Hawai’i County Civil Defense.

Civil Defense Administrator Darryl Oliveira told reporters Friday morning that the breakout, which is located about 1 mile from Highway 130, has advanced an average of 100-150 yards per day over the past three days.

The flow began in area of the lava field that was widening and proceeded to follow alongside the existing flow pad until it decided to take its own path and branch out further, becoming a breakout on Friday morning.

Oliveira said that the breakout is about 900 yards upslope from the original stalled flow front and is heading in a northeast direction.

In addition to the north margin breakout, Oliveira noted an additional new breakout that was observed further upslope near the vent.

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“We saw a new breakout this morning, a very small breakout on the lava pad, just below the vent itself. The original one [breakout] that had been moving moved about 2 km towards the forest reserve was still active and burning along the edges,” Oliveira explained.

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Additional activity continues in downslope areas, despite stalled advancement at the major breakout points.

“We continue to see breakouts on the lava pad, all the way up from lower areas to the vent,” Oliveira said.

Brush fires that broke out over the past two days have been contained. Oliveira estimated that about 20 acres had burned in Thursday’s brush fire that began off the south margin of the flow where burning activity lined the edges.

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At the current time, officials say there is no fire threat to communities in the area and fire conditions will continue to be monitored.

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