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Lava May Cross Highway 137 in Next 4 to 7 Hours

May 19, 2018, 2:50 PM HST
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This is a Hawai‘i County Civil Defense Message for Saturday, May 19, 2018, at 2 p.m.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory continues to monitor active flows:  in state forest reserve lands and heading in the general direction of MacKenzie State Park. No residents are threatened at this time.  Residents should be aware that the lava flow is currently .8 miles from Highway 137 and, at the current rate, may cross the highway within the next four to seven hours. 

Map as of 10:00 am HST, May 19. Shaded purple areas indicate lava flows erupted in 1840, 1955, 1960, and 2014-2015. Click to enlarge. (USGS Map)

Due to the volcanic activity, the following are in effect:

  • Residents between Kamaili and Pohoiki are advised to decide if they want to voluntarily leave the area at this time.
  • For those who choose to voluntarily evacuate, the Pāhoa Community Center, Kea‘au Community Center, and Sure Foundation Church are open.  The shelters are pet friendly.
  • All persons are asked to avoid the area.
  • Stay alert to messages issued by your Civil Defense Agency.
  • The Fire Department and HVO will be actively monitoring the flows by helicopter.

On roads information:

  • Highway 130 is open for residents only.
  • Closure may occur at any time with no notice.
  • Should the lava cross, Highway 137 will be closed to thru traffic.
  • Road blocks will be established on both sides of the roadway should the flow cross the highway.

Should the lava enter the ocean be aware of the laze hazard and stay away from any ocean plume.

  • Laze is when hot lava hits the ocean sending hydrochloric acid and steam with fine glass particles into the air.

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