PUNA, BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - ?
It has been one week since the leading edge of the Puna lava flow advanced, according to Hawaii County Civil Defense officials who just completed an overflight assessment Friday of the flow field and report it remains stalled 480 feet from Pahoa Village Road. However, officials say the flow pad continues to show signs of inflation which could result in breakouts and more activity.
USGS geologists with the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory say in some places the thickness of the flow has roughly doubled over the previous five days, and breakouts were observed from inflated ridges. HVO scientists observed breakouts 550 to 660 yards above the stalled flow front near Pahoa Cemetery, and a breakout 330 yards above the transfer station was burning vegetation and advanced approximately 82 yards since Wednesday.
Hawaii County officials say upslope breakouts are approximately 0.7 to 1.5 miles above the Apaa Street area along the north side of the flow field and moving in a north-northeast direction. Officials say the burning along the flow edges in the areas of the cemetery and above the transfer station is limited to the vegetation in contact with the flow. They say smoke from the active burning may be visible throughout the day, but there is no brush fire threat at this time.
USGS says only very minor inflationary tilt occurred at Kilauea's summit, and the level of the summit lava lake at Halemaumau Crater is unchanged.
Hawaii County officials say smoke conditions Friday are light with variable winds. 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.
Hawaii County Civil Defense Director Darryl Oliveira says although current flow activity has decreased, 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.
Pahoa Village Road, between Apaa Street and the Post Office Road, will remain closed and limited to area residents only. In addition, Civil Defense, public safety personnel and Hawaii National Guard troops will be operating in the area round the clock to maintain close observations of flow activity.
More details tonight on Hawaii News Now.