Hawai'i County Civil Defense officials say a breakout of the south side of the Puna lava flow along Apa'a Street is widening and burning through asphalt road material Saturday morning. Officials say it's one of several breakouts that are active and continuing to advance. They're carefully monitoring three lobes located in the area of the cemetery below Apa'a Street; above Apa'a Street in the area west or upslope of the transfer station; and 200 yards upslope of Apa'a Street. Officials say none of the breakouts are posing any immediate threat to area residents. Aside from the breakout along Apa'a Street, officials say all other lobes are burning through vegetation only.
USGS geologists with the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory say the leading edge of the flow has not advanced beyond where it stalled on October 30 about 480 feet above Pahoa Village Road, but there is significant breakout activity in the areas upslope of this leading edge. The closest active lava to Pahoa Village Road is located approximately 0.4 miles upslope of Pahoa Village Road, near the Pahoa cemetery. HVO scientists say the flow margin at the transfer station remains stalled, but two tiny surface flows were active near the transfer station fence. They say the lobe of the lava flow farther upslope of the transfer station is approximately 250 yards above Apa'a Street Friday afternoon and is widening. USGS says scattered breakouts persist upslope of Cemetery Rd./Apa'a St., up to 1.7 miles upslope of Cemetery Rd./Apa'a St. In addition, HVO geologists observed an active breakout roughly 3 miles downslope from Pu'u 'O'o that was burning a small area of vegetation yesterday.
Smoke conditions Saturday remain moderate to heavy with a light south to variable winds blowing the smoke in a north/northeast direction towards the Ainaloa, Hawaiian Paradise Park and Kea'au areas. Residents down wind who may be sensitive or have respiratory problems are advised to take necessary precautions and to remain indoors, should the winds shift or smoke conditions increase. Officials say the weather service has forecasted continued south winds for the next few days.
Hawai'i County Civil Defense Director Darryl Oliveira says the evacuation advisory for those residents down slope of the flow will continue and residents will be kept informed of the flow status and advancement.
Post Office Road is once again open to two-way traffic. However, Pahoa Village Road between Apa'a Street and the Post Office Road will remain closed and limited to area residents only. Officials say access to the businesses and commercial areas of the Pahoa town can be made through the Pahoa Village Road at the intersection of Highways 130 and 132. Oliveira apologizes for any inconvenience the road closure may be experiencing and reminds everyone that the Pahoa town center and businesses are open and accessible.
In addition, Civil Defense, public safety personnel and Hawai'i National Guard troops will be operating in the area round the clock to maintain close observations of flow activity.