(BIVN) – Four people were evacuated by helicopter this evening. They were taken out of a lava-threatened area in lower Puna by Hawaii County and the National Guard rescue teams.
Fast moving lava from Fissure 20 crossed Pohoiki Road near Malama Ki Place, isolating approximately 40 homes in the area, emergency officials say.
Pohoiki Road is closed, and people still in that area “are asked to stay in a safe place and wait for further instructions,” county officials say.
“Residents from Isaac Hale Beach Park to Kalapana are advised to prepare for voluntary evacuation should Highway 137 become threatened,” civil defense said in a 7:30 p.m. message. “For those evacuating, the Pahoa Community Center, Keaau Community Center, and Sure Foundation Church are open. Food will be provided and the shelters are pet friendly.”
Highway 137 and 130 are open, county officials say.
This evening, the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reported:
Eruption of lava and ground cracking in the area of Leilani Estates subdivision continues. Late this afternoon, a fast-moving pahoehoe lava flow emerged from fissure 20 and traveled southeast where it crossed Pohoiki Road. Estimates from Hawaii County Fire Department aerial video at 6:30 pm indicate advance rate of 300-400 yards per hour; this rate may change with time and USGS crews are in the area to try and monitor flow advance. Other fissures remain weakly active and volcanic gas emissions remain elevated throughout the area downwind. Smoke from burning vegetation as lava flows advance is also contributing to poor air quality.