New Lava Flow Map Shows Pahoa Town in Direct Path of Lava

Small-scale map showing the June 27th flow in Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone as of September 4, 2014.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Lava on the surface at 1 PM, outlined in red, was 13.3 km (8.3 miles) from the vent and 1.2 km (0.7 miles) from the east boundary of the Wao Kele o Puna Forest Reserve. The front of the flow was spilling into another crack, which was steaming.

The blue lines show potential flow paths calculated from a 1983 digital elevation model (DEM). All older lava flows (1983–2014) are shown in gray; the yellow line marks the lava tube.

Governor Signs Emergency Proclamation in Anticipation of Lava Flow Crossing Highway 130

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today signed an emergency proclamation in preparation for the June 27 lava flow crossing Highway 130 near Pahoa, potentially isolating communities in lower Puna from the rest of Hawaii County.

abercrombieheaderThe proclamation suspends certain laws as needed for emergency purposes, including state restrictions on reestablishing abandoned roads that may be used should lava cross Highway 130. It also activates the Major Disaster Fund set aside by the state Legislature for disaster relief and facilitates access to emergency resources at the state and federal levels.

“State agencies are working with the County of Hawaii to provide alternative access to lower Puna if lava crosses the main highway,” said Gov. Abercrombie. “This proclamation will ensure that isolated communities receive a continuation of services.

“Health officials are also advising all residents living near the lava flow to plan ahead for potential smoke from burning vegetation and low levels of sulfur dioxide. Conditions for nearby communities may vary widely due to the unpredictability of wind and weather.”

The disaster emergency relief period specified in the proclamation begins today and continues through Oct. 15, 2014.

Residents are also encouraged to enroll in local notification systems and monitor local radio and television broadcasts.

Lava Flow Update – Kilauea Continues to Erupt

Kīlauea continued to erupt at its summit and within the East Rift Zone, and gas emissions remained elevated. Summit tilt showed inflation over the past day, and the lava lake level fluctuated due to spattering. At the middle East Rift Zone, the front of the June 27th flow continued advancing eastward, and surface breakouts also remain active closer to Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

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Live Panorama of Puʻu ʻŌʻō North Flank from the North Rim [PNcam] Last Updated 2014-09-05 14:25:14 (HST) Click to Enlarge

June 27th Lava Flow Observations: The June 27th lava flow remains active. An HVO overflight yesterday afternoon observed lava continuing to issue onto the surface from a ground crack, and moving slowly through thick forest. The most distant active lava was approximately 13.3 km (8.3 miles) from the vent and 1.2 km (0.7 miles) from the eastern boundary of the Wao Kele o Puna Forest Reserve. Another overflight is scheduled for this morning and an updated map will be posted later today.

Small breakouts also remain active closer to Puʻu ʻŌʻō, roughly midway along the length of the June 27th flow. None of these breakouts have been very vigorous recently, and there was no significant change overnight based on webcam views. Some of these breakouts are also creeping into the forest and producing smoke plumes.

Puʻu ʻŌʻō Observations: There was no significant change in tilt at Puʻu ʻŌʻō over the past day. Glow was visible overnight above several outgassing openings in the crater floor. Aerial views this week have found small lava ponds within the northeast, southeast, and north pits in the crater, and a crusted pond surface in the southeast pit. A small amount of lava was erupted from the north pit last night onto the crater floor. The most recent sulfur-dioxide emission-rate measurement for the East Rift Zone was 400 tonnes per day (from all sources) on September 2, 2014.