Puna lava flow shifts back toward homes, construction of evacuation route begins
PUNA, BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii County Civil Defense officials say the Puna lava flow has redirected and is now 0.3 miles from the Kaohe Homesteads boundary line, after advancing approximately 300 yards since Wednesday.
Officials say the flow does not pose any immediate threat to the neighborhood, but they're asking all residents who live in the Kaohe subdivision to monitor local radio broadcasts for possible evacuation instructions if conditions change and they will also be going door-to-door to ensure everyone is aware of the situation. Construction of an alternate evacuation route began Thursday in the Hawaiian Beaches and Hawaiian Paradise Park neighborhoods.
Officials say the construction along Railroad Avenue and Government Beach Road will run through the weekend and next week as they establish an emergency road in the event Highway 130 is affected by the lava flow.
A community meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Pahoa High School cafeteria.
The following message was issued by Hawaii County Civil Defense Thursday, September 11: "The current assessment shows the surface lava flow has shifted towards the east and is moving in an east/northeast direction. The surface flow has advanced approximately 300 yards since yesterday. Presently the leading edge of the surface flow is located approximately 0.3 miles from the northwest or upper corner of the Wao Kele Forest Reserve and Kaohe homesteads boundary. Currently the flow does not pose and immediate threat to area communities however residents of the Kaohe Subdivision are advised to monitor the local radio broadcasts for further updates and for possible evacuation instructions if conditions change. Residents will be given adequate notice to safely evacuate should that be necessary. Personnel of the Civil Defense Office will be conducting door to door surveys and notification in the Kaohe Homesteads starting today. Residents in the subdivisions of Hawaiian Beaches and Hawaiian Paradise Park are advised that construction activities on the Railroad Avenue and Government Beach Road will be starting today and running continuously through the weekend and next week. These activities are to establish alternate road access in the event Highway 130 is affected by the lava flow. The public is reminded that the flow cannot be accessed and is not visible from any public areas. Access to the Kaohe Homesteads subdivision will be restricted and limited to subdivision residents only."
The following USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory update was issued Wednesday, September 10: "An HVO overflight yesterday afternoon observed that the flow front had shifted towards a more northeast direction, bringing it closer to the western boundary of Kaohe Homesteads (which is the eastern boundary of the Wao Kele o Puna forest reserve). The flow front at 2:45 pm yesterday was 0.4 miles from the Forest Reserve/Kaohe Homesteads boundary. The actual length of the flow, measured along the lava tube axis (so that bends in the flow are considered) is 10.3 miles. Between Sept. 6 &10, the flow front has advanced at approximately 460 yards/day. The flow front is still in thick forest, creating smoke plumes as it engulfs trees and other vegetation, but fires are not spreading away from the flow."
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