PUNA, BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - Pahoa area residents report spotting a trail of steam from the Puna lava flow as Hurricane Ana passed Hawai'i Island early Saturday.
According to Hawai'i County Civil Defense officials an overflight assessment Saturday morning indicated the flow front remains stalled and has not advanced since Friday. USGS geologists with the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory say the flow remains active, however -- they say the amount of lava flowing from Pu'u 'O'o crater through the tube system to supply the front is at the lowest level measured so far for this flow. USGS says lava breakouts are still active on the surface and margins of the flow as far 1.2 miles upslope, which are continuing to widen the flow.
County officials say Saturday morning's overflight indicated very little burning activity, and light to moderate rain in the area was creating light to moderate smoke conditions with light winds.
USGS says the Puna lava flow moved downslope about 50 yards between October 16 - 17 and has been advancing at an average rate of approximately 27-43 yd/day since October 10. As a result of the decrease in speed, geologists have not released an updated arrival forecast.
Offiicals say the flow is still about 0.6 miles from the Apa'a Street area near the Pahoa Transfer Station.
Hawai'i County Civil Defense 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.
Officials also want to remind people that the flow is not visible and cannot be accessed from any public areas. The Ka'ohe Homesteads subdivision is still restricted to property-owners and residents only.