PUNA, BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - USGS geologists with the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory estimate the Puna lava flow could reach Apa'a Street in Pahoa in about 16 days, if it continues moving at its current rate of 390 ft/day.
According to Hawai'i County Civil Defense officials, the June 27th flow picked up speed -- advancing another 150 yards in the last 24 hours and moving downslope by about 600 yards since Wednesday.
County officials say its continuing to move through a forested area and producing a significant amount of smoke as it burns through a tree line.
USGS geologists say the flow has widened to about 230 ft and has been moving downslope at a speed of approximately 390 ft/day since October 3. Experts say the leading edge of the flow is 1.2 miles upslope from Apa'a Street along the steepest descent path and 1.1 miles upslope from Apa'a Street along a straight line. USGS says the advance rate of the flow has varied significantly during the past month and their latest projection is subject to change. The next HVO overflight is scheduled for Wednesday, October 8.
Officials say currently all lava flow activity does not pose an immediate threat to area communities. Hawai'i County Civil Defense Director Darryl Oliveira says no evacuation is needed at this time and residents will be given adequate notice to safely evacuate should that be necessary.
More details tonight on Hawaii News Now.