(ABOVE VIDEO) Today’s media conference call edited together with Tuesday overflight video courtesy Ena Media Hawaii aboard Blue Hawaiian Helicopters.
- The active lava flow front is about 0.9 miles from the upslope edge of the Pahoa Marketplace along the path of steepest descent. USGS calculates the flow front has advanced 1.2 miles over the past week, “which equates to an average advance rate of 285 meters per day (roughly 0.2 miles per day) over that period”.
- Malama Market will be closed as of Thursday. Other stores – including the gas station – are executing similar plans to shut down before the lava arrives.
- On Wednesday, the county will open a viewing area on the stalled flow front at the former Transfer Station on Apa’a Street starting at 8 a.m. The county is also working on plans to provide public access to see the lava if/when it reaches the highway.
- The Hawaii State Department of Health announced the installation of three temporary particulate monitors to measure and inform nearby residents of lava-related air quality levels. Two monitors are currently located in Pahoa and one in Leilani Estates. Media release below.
The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) has installed three temporary particulate monitors to measure and inform nearby residents on the Big Island of Hawaii of the air quality levels from the lava flow from Kilauea volcano. Two monitors are currently located in Pahoa and one in Leilani Estates. These monitors may be relocated or additional monitors installed as the lava flow moves or additional breakouts occur. The monitoring data and advisories may be viewed at: health.hawaii.gov/ or http://www.airnow.gov/
The University of Hawaii, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology has also developed a model to forecast the lava flow smoke in Puna. The smoke model can be viewed at: http://weather.hawaii.edu/
“Our monitoring data and smoke model will measure and predict air quality, but this information is no substitute for good judgment. People should consider for themselves how sensitive they are to smoke exposure and act accordingly, said Gary Gill, deputy director of Environmental Health. “The smoke impact at any place or time may change due to unpredictable wind and weather conditions.”
DOH recommends that residents in smoke affected areas avoid outdoor activities or physical exertion. People with respiratory illness or heart disease, older adults and children are urged to avoid smoke exposure. Smoke may worsen symptoms for individuals who have pre-existing respiratory conditions, such as allergies, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Individuals that have these conditions should keep their medication refilled and use daily (controller) medication as prescribed. Anyone who feels they may need medication or medical attention should contact their physician.
Due to the unpredictable nature of the lava flow and smoke conditions, residents and visitors are advised to listen to the Hawaii County Civil Defense updates and advisories.Hawaii Department of Health media release on Dec. 16, 2014