(ABOVE PHOTO) Smoke plumes indicate the location of the June 27th lava flow, which was less than half a mile from the edge of Kaohe Homesteads, visible in foreground, on September 10. The flow was advancing toward the northeast.
(ABOVE VIDEO) Residents of Puna ask various questions of Hawaii County emergency officials during a public meeting in Pahoa on Tuesday night.
PUNA, Hawaii – The future outlook for Kaohe Homesteads took a turn for the worse on Wednesday, as the advancing June 27 lava flow began heading northeast after a few days of northward movement. Hopes were alive for the rural subdivision on the outskirts of Pahoa town a few days ago as the lava front seemed to be taking a course parallel to the border between Kaohe and the Wao Kele o Puna Forest Reserve.
On Wednesday evening, however, a new set of USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory maps revealed the slight change in direction that could spell doom for the homesteads in less than two days. Scientists released a new Volcanic Activity Notice at 7:21 p.m.
Between September 6 and 10, the June 27th flow advanced north then northeastward at an average rate of 400 m/d (0.25 mi/d). In this way, the flow had advanced approximately 14.5 km (9.0 miles straight-line distance) from the vent, or to within 0.6 km (0.4 miles) of the eastern boundary of the Wao Kele o Puna Forest Reserve, by the afternoon of September 10. At the average rate of advancement of 400 m/day (0.25 mi/day) since September 6, we project that lava could flow from its current location to the northwest edge of Kaohe Homesteads in 1.5 days and to the Pāhoa Village road (government road) in Pāhoa within 14-16 days if lava is not further confined within the cracks and down-dropped blocks within the East Rift Zone of Kīlauea volcano. These estimates will be continually refined as we track this lava flow.USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory on Sept. 10
New maps were also issued and posted to the USGS website on Wednesday.
Scientists also posted a few new photos of the lava flow: