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UPDATE: Flow Splits Into Two Lobes, Both Heading for Highway

May 19, 2018, 6:17 PM HST
* Updated May 20, 9:19 PM
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UPDATE: May 19, 2018, at 9 p.m.

This is a Hawai‘i County Civil Defense Message for Saturday, May 19, 2018, at 9 p.m.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory continues to monitor active flows. The flow originating from fissure 20 has again split into two lobes, both are currently heading in the general direction of the 13 mile marker on Highway 137. Flow front #1 is approximately 630 meters from Highway 137 and moving about a 100 meters per hour. Flow front #2 is approximately 750 meters from Highway 137 and moving about the same speed. At the current rate, the lava flow may cross the highway within the next five to seven hours.

Highway 137 is closed between Kamailii Road and Pohoiki Road. Kamaili Road is closed between Highway 130 and Highway 137 due to a brush fire. Residents in the area have been evacuated.

Original Post:

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This is a Hawai‘i County Civil Defense Message for Saturday, May 19, 2018, at 6 p.m.

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Hawaiian Volcano Observatory continues to monitor active flows which have joined together into one flow. The flow is currently in state forest reserve lands and heading in the general direction of MacKenzie State Park. No structures are threatened at this time. Residents should be aware that the lava flow is currently about half a mile from Highway 137 and, at the current rate, may cross the highway within the next five to six hours.

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

  • Laze is formed when hot lava hits the ocean sending hydrochloric acid and steam with fine glass particles into the air.
  • Health hazards of laze include lung, eye and skin irritation.
  • Be aware that the laze plume travels with the wind and can change direction without warning.
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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.
  • County, state and federal agencies will be monitoring the flows and eruptive activities throughout the night.

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.

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