PUNA, HAWAII (HawaiiNewsNow) - According to the latest update released by USGS geologists, the Puna lava flow has slowed from 890 ft/day to 625/day and is now projected to reach Apa'a Street in 13 days (approximately Thursday, October 2), Pahoa Village Road within 18 days (approximately Tuesday, October 7) and Highway 130 in 21 days (approximately Friday, October 10).
The June 27 lava flow from Pu'u Oo vent crossed the vacant, forested northwest corner of Kaohe Homesteads Friday morning and entered open grasslands.
Hawai'i County Civil Defense Director Darryl Oliveira says the flow does not pose an immediate threat to area communities and residents will be given adequate notice to safely evacuate, should that be necessary. The lava is engulfing trees and other vegetation along the leading edge of the flow, creating smoke plumes but there is no brushfire threat at this time. Officials say smoke conditions were light to moderate at the flow, however heavy vog from the Pu'u O'o vent was visible Friday morning over the lower Puna area and extending into Keaau and parts of Hilo. Conditions are expected to improve as the trade winds pick up Friday afternoon.
Crews are continuing to clear Railroad Avenue and Government Beach Road to establish alternate road access in the event Highway 130 is affected by the lava flow.
Officials want to remind people that the flow cannot be accessed and is not visible from any public areas. Access to the Kaohe Homesteads subdivision remains restricted and limited to residents and property owners only.
Hawai'i County Civil Defense officials urge anyone who lives or works downslope of the Puna lava flow to begin preparing their emergency evacuation and response plans now to ensure they can act quickly.