Puna leaders discuss plan ahead of lava threat

Puna leaders discuss plan ahead of lava threat 6pm Update

PUNA, BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - Darryl Oliveira, the director of Hawaii County Civil Defense, met with Puna community leaders and representatives of area farmers and ranchers who have a substantial amount of livestock that would need to be relocated if the lava flow continues to head their way.

Scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey say the flow, which started on June 27, is not slowing. They say the lava is less than two miles away from the perimeter of the Kaohe Homestead subdivision. According to Oliveira, who just completed an aerial assessment, there's no real evidence of any forward progress of the lava flow on the surface -- but he says it's difficult to know with any certainty how far it's moving underground or how deep it is. "We're stressing there isn't an imminent or immediate threat, but it's something they should be aware of and monitor the situation," Oliveira said, adding civil defense radio updates will start daily beginning today.

He cautions he doesn't want people to get complacent, but says Puna residents have overwhelmingly requested more frequent updates during community meetings this past week.

The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, August 28 at 6:30 p.m. at Pahoa Community Center. HNN's Mileka Lincoln will be LIVE from the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory tonight on Hawaii News Now at 5 and 6 pm, with the very latest.

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