(ABOVE VIDEO) Saturday’s Hawaii County Civil Defense message with video, photos and maps courtesy USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
PUNA, Hawaii – The June 27 lava flow continues its march towards Puna’s populated areas. Surface flows increased on Saturday following a day of reduced activity. The active flow was 0.9 miles from the eastern boundary of the Wao Kele o Puna forest reserve, which is also the western edge of Kaohe Homesteads subdivision.
According to USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, “the reduction yesterday was likely due to lava filling the deep ground cracks. The flow front today was moving towards the north from the ground crack, through thick forest, creating a dense plume of smoke.”
The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory also released a new set of maps:
Here is what Hawaii County Civil Defense reported earlier this morning:
Helicopter over flights and assessments are continuing. This morning’s assessment shows the surface lava flow continues very slowly in a north direction. Very little vegetation is burning and there is no wildfire threat at this time. The surface flow has advanced approximately 50 yards since yesterday. The presence of steam plumes being emitted from the crack system indicates subsurface flow activity continues. The surface flow is moving very slowly and does not pose an immediate threat to area residents. The surface flow is located approximately .8 miles southwest or upslope of the Wao Kele Puna Forest Reserve boundary and moving in a north direction.
Due to the proximity of the lava flow activity to the nearby residential areas, the Hawaii Volcanoes Observatory has elevated the eruption alert level to an Eruption Warning as of Thursday September 4th. Presently, the current activities and flow does not present with an immediate or imminent threat to area communities. No evacuation is required at this time. Eruption activity will continue to be monitored and additional updates will be provided.
Although the current flow activity does not pose an immediate threat to area communities, residents are encouraged to continue to review their emergency plans in the event conditions change and should an evacuation be necessary.
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. Hawaii County Civil Defense on Sept. 6, 2014