PUNA, HAWAII (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii County Civil Defense officials say the Puna lava flow has advanced approximately 75 yards since Sunday. According to their Monday overflight, the flow is moving northeast and is now approximately 0.6 miles from the Apaa Street area near the Pahoa Transfer Station. Officials say all burning activity is limited to the vegetation in direct contact with the flow and there is no brush fire threat at this time -- however, smoke conditions were moderate to heavy Monday in the Kaohe Homesteads area due to a light northeast wind.
USGS geologists with the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory says activity along the June 27th lava flow is consistent as lava continues moving through the tube from Pu'u 'O'o crater to the flow front directly toward Pahoa, even though the advance rate has slowed significantly. Geologists say since October 3, the average rate of advancement has slowed to 94 yd/day. As a result, they project the lava could reach Apa'a St. in about 18 days, on October 28. They say the advance rate of the June 27th flow has varied significantly during the past month and week, and the arrival forecast is subject to change. The next HVO overflight is scheduled for Monday afternoon and a new arrival forecast may be released at that time.
USGS geologists say together the flow front and breakout finger span a distance of 200 yards. They say active breakouts were observed at the flow front, and continue along the tube system upslope from the leading edge of the flow.
Hawaii County Civil Defense officials say currently all lava flow activity does not pose an immediate threat to area communities. Hawaii 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. However, officials say due to the unpredictable nature of the lava flow — residents and visitors are advised to listen for Hawaii County Civil Defense updates and advisories on the radio.
The next lava flow community update meeting will be held with representatives from Hawaii County Civil Defense and the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory on Thursday, October 16 at 6:30 p.m. at the Pahoa High School Cafeteria.
In addition, the County of Hawaii has established an Incident Command Center and Informational Resource Center at the Pahoa Community Center from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, contact Hawaii County Civil Defense at (808) 935-0031.
More details tonight on Hawaii News Now.