East Hawaii News

Oliveira: South Margin Breakout Widening

March 10, 2015, 12:37 PM HST
* Updated March 10, 12:41 PM
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Hawai’i County Civil Defense Administrator Darryl Oliveira said late Tuesday morning that the south margin breakout of the June 27 lava flow is widening more than it is advancing in a downhill, forward direction.

The small breakout advanced 40 yards between Monday and Tuesday mornings after showing sluggish behavior and widening, but not moving forward, from Sunday to Monday morning. The biggest stride the flow has made was from Saturday to Sunday where it advanced 200 yards in a 24 hour period.

“We’re seeing more widening than forward advancement. We are watching it very closely,” Oliveira explained. “It’s still about 0.7 miles up from the highway.”

The flow is about 30 yards wide in some areas, but overall, relatively narrow. Oliveira told reporters that the lava is also not a glowing red color for the majority of the breakout as much of it has already crusted over. The breakout, however, is still active.

According to Oliveira, the flow position is in the proximity of the Highway 130 and Pahoa Village Road intersection, if it were to make it downslope. He, however, reiterates that the flow is not necessarily traveling downhill, but is showing more of a north direction pull. The flow is hugging the original flow pad that previously came down but is still behind the area of the stalled front.

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Additional breakouts are being observed along the entire length of the flow pad, from about the well pad site all the way down to just a few hundred yards of the stalled flow front, according to Oliveira. Signs of lava supplied remain evident.

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Surface breakouts and active breakouts along the edge of the north margin also continue but the activity is limited and not posing any type of threat.

“We are going to be watching the south margin breakout closely and just keeping a close eye on that and notifying any of the businesses in the MarketPlace if there appears to be any kind of change,” said Oliveira.

Due to the amount of rain in the area over the past several days, Oliveira says that there is no current threat of fire and ensured that the flow is well within fire break areas. Burning is limited to what the flow and breakouts are coming in contact with along the edges but nothing that is threatening.

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