(ABOVE PHOTO) View from above the middle part of the June 27th flow looking south at a small breakout that is burning forest along the previously existing flow margin. Heiheiahulu cone is in the upper left. (USGS HVO on Sept. 12)
PUNA, Hawaii – The advance of the lava has slowed and is now moving in more of a northward direction, scientists say, but the flow remains active.
Here is the Sunday morning update from the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory:
A Civil Defense overflight this morning observed that the flow front was moving in a more northward direction over the past day, which is a slight shift from its previous northeast direction. The flow had traveled roughly 270 m (300 yards) since Friday, suggesting that the flow advance rate may have slowed over the past several days. The flow front remains close to the boundary of the Wao Kele o Puna forest reserve and Kaohe Homesteads. 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.
The most recent HVO overflight was Friday afternoon. The flow front at that time was 14.9 km (9.3 miles) from the vent, measured in a straight line, and 170 m (0.1 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) was 17.1 km (10.6 miles). Between September 10 and 12 the advance rate was approximately 250 meters (270 yards) per day. USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory on Sept. 14
Hawaii County Civil Defense issued this audio alert following their Sunday morning assessment:
Daily helicopter over flights are continuing. The current assessment shows the surface lava flow continues towards the north and has advanced approximately 150 yards since yesterday. Presently the active edge of the surface flow is located approximately 0.2 miles from the northwest or upper corner of the Wao Kele Forest Reserve and Kaohe homesteads boundary. Currently the flow does not pose an immediate threat to area communities however residents of the Kaohe Subdivision are advised to continue 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 in the area of the Kaohe Homesteads today.
There is no brushfire threat at this time and all burning is limited to the vegetation that is in direct contact with the flow. Smoke conditions may be moderate to heavy depending on wind conditions. During periods of heavy smoke conditions the department of Health and American Lung Association have provided the following recommendations:
1. Remain indoors and limit or avoid outdoor activities.
2. If possible close all windows and if available use air conditioners on a recirculation setting.
3. If driving through areas of heavy smoke keep windows closed and if available use the air conditioner on the recirculation setting.
4. If symptoms or discomforts increase to seek medical attention and leave the area.
Residents in the subdivisions of Hawaiian Beaches and Hawaiian Paradise Park are advised that construction activities on the Railroad Avenue and Government Beach Road are continuing 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. Hawaii County Civil Defense on Sept. 14