Puna lava flow shows signs of activity at leading edge

Puna lava flow shows signs of activity at leading edge

According to Hawai'i County Civil Defense officials, it has been six days since the Puna lava flow's leading edge has advanced -- however, breakouts have continued to be active and Saturday morning's overflight assessment indicated there is an increase in activity at the flow front. They say a small breakout flow upslope of the leading edge also appears to have picked up -- progressing forward approximately 75 yards since Friday and is burning through forest. Officials say smoke conditions were light to moderate as light rain began moving throughout the area Saturday morning. There is no fire threat at this time.

USGS geologists with the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory say fresh lava broke out of the tube about 3.4 miles behind the flow, which suggests that lava is slowly beginning to reoccupy the tube. During their flyover Friday, they observed vigorous surface activity about 3 miles upslope of the flow front where the lava enters the crack system and a few new sluggish breakouts they believe is associated with draining of lava from the inflated flow's hot interior.

Hawai'i County Civil Defense Director Darryl Oliveira says no homes or businesses are in any imminent danger and no evacuation is needed at this time. He says residents will be given adequate notice to safely evacuate should that be necessary.

USGS says the June 27th flow front is stalled 1.4 miles upslope from Apa'a St. and 2.1 miles from Pahoa Village Road. Since the flow has not advanced since Sunday, officials will not be offering a projection of its future movement until their next overflight assessment on Monday, September 29.

HELCO crews will be working in the Government Beach road area and digging holes to allow for the installation of power poles. Officials say the road will be blocked and the public is advised to avoid the area and use alternate routes to allow for these operations.

The public is reminded that the flow is not visible and cannot be accessed from any public areas. Access to the Kaohe Homesteads subdivision is still restricted to residents only.

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