Pahoa Village Road Closed Near Post Office Because of Impending Lava Flow

This is a lava flow and evacuation Information Update for Sunday October 26th at 9:30pm.

Civildefense

The flow continues to remain active and has increased in its advancement rate and speed.  The flow is currently moving at a rate of approximately 15 to 20 yards an hour.  The flow has advanced approximately 170 yards since 9:00 this morning and presently located approximately 600 yards from the Pahoa Village Road.

Based on the current flow location, direction, and advancement rate, residents in the immediate downslope area of the flow path have been advised to prepare for possible evacuation tonight. Other area residents will be kept informed of flow status and any need for evacuation. Civil Defense personnel and community emergency response teams will be going door to door through the immediate area and informing residents of the current flow conditions and possible evacuation. Due to the unpredictability and inconsistency in the flow rate of advancement precautions will be taken to ensure the safety of all residents. Please monitor local radio broadcast for additional information and updates.

As the flow approaches the community, smoke conditions may increase in some areas and residents down wind that may be sensitive or have respiratory problems are advised to take necessary precautions and to remain indoors.

Effective 9:30 PM tonight, Pāhoa Village road will be closed from  Apaʻa Street to Post Office Road and limited to area residents only. In addition, Civil Defense and public safety personnel will be operating in the area round the clock to maintain close observations of flow activity.

Additional updates will be broadcasted as conditions change.

We would like to thank everyone for your patience and understanding and your cooperation and assistacne is greatly appreciated.

Lava Flow Bypasses the Pahoa Transfer Station For Now

The June 27 Lava Flow has moved past the Pahoa Transfer Station and is now moving down slope towards Pahoa Village Road.

“This map uses a satellite image acquired in March 2014 (provided by Digital Globe) as a base to show the area around the front of the June 27th lava flow.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

The area of the flow on October 25, 2014, at 5:00 PM is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the flow as mapped on October 26 at 12:30 PM is shown in red. The dotted blue lines show steepest-descent paths in the area, calculated from a 1983 digital elevation model (DEM).”

HELCO Attempts to Protect Power Poles From Lava Flow

Hawaii Electric Light continues to work closely with Hawaii County Civil Defense and other agencies to monitor and evaluate the lava flow and has put into action the plans that are appropriate for this stage, including:

  • Pole protection measures were installed on four poles along Apaa Street. The poles were partially encased with heat resistant and dispersive material to protect them from the heat generated by the lava.
  • A large diesel generator was relocated to the Kapoho area to provide an alternate source of generation should the flow isolate the area from the island-wide power grid.
  • The distribution line extension construction continues on Government Beach Road as an alternate means to provide power to Hawaiian Beaches should the existing power distribution lines become inoperable.
HELCO workers are experimenting on securing the telephone poles on Cemetery Road.  (Click to enlarge)

HELCO workers are experimenting on securing the poles on Cemetery Road. As of 2 PM, the flow was only 135 m (approximately 150 yards) from Cemetery Rd./Apaʻa St., which spans this photo. HELCO crews can be seen working to protect utility poles along the road. (Click to enlarge)

“The safety of our community and employees is our top priority,” said spokesperson Kristen Okinaka. “We’re working closely with Hawaii County Civil Defense and have taken the necessary steps to protect our facilities.”

Hawaii Electric Light advises customers who are planning to move and would like to discontinue or transfer their electric service to call (808) 969-6999. In the event evacuation is necessary before electric service has been removed, the company recommends customers:

  • Shut off electricity at the main breaker or switch;
  • Unplug or turn off electric equipment and appliances.

As there are new developments, updates will be provided to the media and public and also posted on Hawaii Electric Light’s website (www.hawaiielectriclight.com), Twitter (@HIElectricLight), and Facebook (www.facebook.com/HawaiianElectric) accounts.

Lava Flow Approximately 0.3 Miles From Apa’a Street Near Pahoa Transfer Station

This is an eruption and lava flow Information Update for Thursday October 23rd at 8:45 am

This morning’s assessment shows that the narrow finger that was advancing along the south edge of the flow has advanced approximately 425 yards since yesterday.  This new flow front is active and moving in a northeast direction.  Currently the leading edge of the advancing flow is approximately .3 miles from the Apa’a Street area near the Pahoa Transfer Station.  There was very little burning activity and smoke conditions were moderate. There is no brush fire threat at this time.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Current flow activity does not pose an immediate threat to area communities and no evacuation is needed at this time.  Area residents will be given adequate notice to safely evacuate should that be necessary.

With the change in flow activity and advancement, Apa’a Street and Cemetery Road will be closed between the Pahoa Transfer Station and the Kaohe Homesteads Road.  In addition, Civil Defense and public safety personnel will be operating in the area round the clock to maintain close observations of flow activity.

The public is reminded that the flow is not visible and cannot be accessed from any public areas.   Access to the Kaohe Homesteads subdivision will remain restricted to area residents only.

Drone Plane Photos of Lava Flow

Today I met Paul Mount as I was heading to the Pahoa Transfer Station on Cemetery Road and I noticed that he was calibrating his drone plane/copter so I pulled over and talked to him for a few minutes.

Paul Mount calibrating his drone.

Paul Mount calibrating his drone.

He sent his drone up and captured some HD film footage of what he saw.  Here are a couple pictures from today’s flight:

Paul Mount 1

Photo by Paul Mount

“…looking in a direction of 180 degrees from the first photo”

Photo by Paul Mount

Photo by Paul Mount

Paul sent me an email telling me he would be trying to get better footage tomorrow.  He was kind of hampered by the weather today.

Big Island Residents Asked to Move to Higher Grounds Before Hurricane Ana Hits

This is a Tropical Storm information update for Wednesday, October 15th at 10:00am.

The National Weather Service is currently tracking Tropical Storm Ana and will be providing further updates as conditions change. As of 5:00 am this morning, Tropical Storm Ana was located approximately 680 miles east southeast of Hilo and moving west at 9 miles per hour. Presently the system is showing sustained winds of 70 miles per hour with higher gusts. In addition to the high winds, high surf and storm surge may be expected as well as heavy rains and thunder showers.

Ana 1015

Although the threat level has not yet been raised we are asking Hawaii Island residents to monitor your local radio broadcasts for updates and to prepare for possible storm conditions which could begin to affect the Big Island by Friday. Residents in the shoreline communities of Punaluu in Kau and the Kalapana, Kapoho, and Pohoiki areas of Puna are advised to take precautions and to move to higher ground. Surf heights of 25 to 40 feet are currently forecasted for the southeast facing shores of Hawaii Island. 

Additional updates will be broadcasted as information becomes available.

Lava Flow 2.7 Miles From Pahoa Village Road… UPSLOPE!

This map shows the June 27th flow in Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone in relation to lower Puna.

Click to see large scale map

Click to see large scale map

The area of the flow on September 12, 2014, at 12:30 PM is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the flow as mapped on September 15 at 2:00 PM is shown in red. The front of the active flow was 15.5 km (9.6 miles; straight-line distance) from the vent and had crossed the Wao Kele o Puna Forest Reserve boundary into the vacant northwest corner of Kaohe Homesteads.

The flow front was advancing toward the northeast and was 4.3 km (2.7 miles) upslope from Pāhoa Village Road. The actual length of the flow, measured along the lava tube axis (so that bends in the flow are considered) is 17.7 km (11.0 miles).

The blue lines show down-slope paths calculated from a 1983 digital elevation model (DEM). For an explanation of down-slope path calculations, see: http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/. Down-slope path analysis is based on the assumption that the digital elevation model (DEM) perfectly represents the earth’s surface. But, DEMs are not perfect, so the blue lines on this map indicate approximate flow path directions.

The purple arrow shows a short term projection of flow direction based on the flow behavior over the past several days and the local topography. All older Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows (1983–2014) are shown in gray; the yellow line marks the lava tube.

Lava Flow Enters Kaohe Homesteads

June 27th flow enters northwest portion of Kaohe Homesteads

The June 27th lava flow remains active and continues advancing towards the northeast. Recently, the flow front entered the Kaohe Homesteads subdivision, and is currently within the vacant, forested northwest portion of the subdivision. The flow front was 3.3 km (2.1 miles) upslope from Apaʻa Road and 4.3 km (2.7 miles) from Pāhoa Village Road.

Another view of the flow front, in the northwest portion of Kaohe Homesteads subdivision.
A closer view of surface activity on the June 27th lava flow. This pāhoehoe flow consists of many small, scattered, slow-moving lobes burning vegetation.

HVO geologists conduct a VLF (very-low frequency) survey to measure the rate of lava flowing through the lava tube on the June 27th lava flow.
An HVO geologist conducts a very-low frequency (VLF) survey of the lava tube to measure the rate of lava flowing through the tube. The measurement consists of two steps. First, a transect of VLF measurements across the roof of the tube is used to measure the cross-sectional area of lava flowing through the tube. Second, a radar gun is used to measure the speed that lava is flowing at that location. An open skylight is required for this speed measurement. By multiplying the cross-sectional area with the velocity, the volume rate of lava flowing through the tube can be estimated. Today’s measurement showed a flow rate of 5.8 cubic meters per second (roughly 1500 gallons per second). Tracking the lava supply rate like this can be helpful for anticipating fluctuations in activity at the flow front.

Click to view movie

This Quicktime movie provides an aerial view of activity near the front of the June 27th flow, where numerous pāhoehoe lobes are slowly burning vegetation.

Click to view movie

This Quicktime movie shows the view through a skylight on the lava tube, which provided a clear view of the flowing lava stream.

Lava Smoke and Steam Now Visible From All Over East Hawaii

Puna and in particular the city of Pahoa is battening down the hatches as this lava flow approaches our district.

Here is a picture from my front yard this morning around 6:15 this morning:

The orange color is the reflection of the lava off the smoke that is being created from the flow.

The orange color is the reflection of the lava off the smoke that is being created from the flow.

To put things in perspective… here is a picture that Pahoa Resident Alan Lakritz took from the Honoli’i area of Hilo looking across the bay at the smoke and steam:

Lakritz stated on Facebook,  "The "Plume of Smoke and Steam" over Pahoa and Lower Puna as viewed from Honoli'i Pali ,which is on the north side of Hilo town headed up the Hamakua Coast"

Lakritz stated on Facebook, “The “Plume of Smoke and Steam” over Pahoa and Lower Puna as viewed from Honoli’i Pali ,which is on the north side of Hilo town headed up the Hamakua Coast”

 

New USGS Maps Released – Where the Lava Flow is Now

This small-scale map shows the June 27th flow in Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone on September 12, 2014.

The area of the flow on September 10, 2014, at 2:45 PM is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the flow as mapped on September 12 at 12:30 PM is shown in red. The front of the active flow was 14.9 km (9.3 miles; straight-line distance) from the vent and 0.17 km (0.1 miles) from the east boundary of the Wao Kele o Puna Forest Reserve. The actual length of the flow, measured along the lava tube axis (so that bends in the flow are considered) is 17.1 km (10.6 miles). The flow was advancing toward the northeast. The blue lines show down-slope paths calculated from a 1983 digital elevation model (DEM). For an explanation of down-slope path calculations, see: http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/. All older Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows (1983–2014) are shown in gray. Down-slope path analysis is based on the assumption that the digital elevation model (DEM) perfectly represents the earth’s surface. But, DEMs are not perfect, so the blue lines on this map indicate approximate flow path directions. The purple arrow shows a short term projection of flow direction based on the flow behavior over the past several days and the local topography. (see large map)

Large-scale map of Kīlauea’s ERZ flow field

This large-scale map shows the distal part of the June 27th flow in relation to nearby Puna communities. The black dots mark the flow front on specific dates. The latitude and longitude of the flow front on September 12 was 19.46388/-154.98343 (Decimal degrees; WGS84). The blue lines show down-slope paths calculated from a 1983 digital elevation model (DEM; for calculation details, see http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/). Down-slope path analysis is based on the assumption that the digital elevation model (DEM) perfectly represents the earth’s surface. But, DEMs are not perfect, so the blue lines on this map indicate approximate flow path directions. The purple arrow shows a short term projection of flow direction based on the flow behavior over the past several days and the local topography. (see large map)

Shaded-relief map of East Rift Zone near flow front

This shaded-relief map, with digital surface data provided by the Carnegie Airborne Observatory, shows some of the cracks, faults, and grabens (down-dropped blocks between adjacent faults; http://earthquake.usgs.gov/learn/glossary/?term=graben) that are present in Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone, and which have partly controlled the June 27th flow’s advance direction. The June 27th flow as of September 10, 2014, at 2:45 PM is shown in pink, while flow advance since then (as of ~12:30 PM on September 12) is shown in red. At the time of the mapping, the flow was advancing toward the northeast. (see large map)

Lava Flow Moving to the Northeast

June 27 flow moving to the northeast

As of Friday afternoon, September 12, 2014, the most distal front of the June 27th lava flow had reached a straight-line distance of 14.9 km (9.3 miles) from the source vent on the northeast flank of the Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone. The flow has continued in the northeast direction that it assumed in the middle of the week and is now only 171 meters (0.1 miles) from the boundary of the Kaohe Homesteads community. The flow is still within thick forest, so that dense plumes of smoke are created as vegetation is consumed. Small breakouts (visible as plumes in the middle distance) are also active closer to Puʻu ʻŌʻō, roughly midway along the length of the June 27th flow.

View looking northeast along the terminus of the July 27th flow. Kaohe Homesteads is to the right, and Pāhoa town is in the middle center. The active flow is in the middle left.
 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.

This Quicktime movie provides an aerial view of the flow front and its position relative to Kaohe Homesteads.

The photo on the left is compared here to a thermal image on the right, which provides a clear view of the flow front of the June 27th flow through the thick smoke. The vent for the June 27th flow is on Puʻu ʻŌʻō, which can be seen at the top of the normal photograph. After pouring in and out of ground cracks in late August, the flow finally emerged from the cracks around September 3 and began spilling out towards the north. The northwest portion of Kaohe Homesteads subdivision can be seen in the lower left of the images.

Lava Flow Estimated to Cross Highway 130 in Two Weeks

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs and Department of Land and Natural Resources announce the immediate closure of Wao Kele o Puna Forest Reserve, until further notice, due to the hazards associated with the June 27 lava flow. Wao Kele o Puna is owned by OHA and managed by DLNR.

I would hardly call it a crime scene!

I would hardly call it a crime scene!

Kamana‘opono Crabbe, Ka Pouhana, OHA (Chief Executive Officer) said, “It is prudent at this time to close Wao Kele o Puna due to lava activity and subsequent unsafe conditions.

William J. Aila, Jr., DLNR Chairperson said, “We join with Hawaii Civil Defense and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to warn the public of extreme danger from lava flowing through cracks in Wao Kele O Puna, and Kahauale’a Natural Area Reserve. Both areas are off-limits to all persons. We will prosecute anyone entering these areas for any purpose, including unauthorized lava sightseeing tours. Hikers have been lost or injured in these areas, and personnel called in to rescue them have also been put in danger.”

The Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) will be assisting Hawaii County to build the alternate roads in Puna.

Lava is estimated to cross Highway 130 in approximately two weeks if it stays on its current path.

DOFAW will provide a D8 bulldozer and equipment operator to Nanawale/Railroad Ave. tomorrow and expect work will take several weeks. Portions of the old railroad right-of-way run through state forest and unencumbered lands. Railroad Ave. bisects Nanawale state Forest Reserve

Lava Flow Moves Closer to Pahoa and Highway 130

The June 27th lava flow remained active Wednesday afternoon, September 10, 2014, with the most distal flow front 14.5 km (9.0 mi; straight-line distance) from the vent on the northeast flank of the Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone, which is visible in the far background.

Click to enlarge

Over the past day, the flow front direction shifted from a north trend to a more northeast trend, bringing the flow closer to the Forest Reserve boundary. The flow continued to advance through thick forest, creating smoke plumes as it engulfed trees and other vegetation. The smell of smoke has been detected far downwind of the flow, but fires are not spreading beyond the margin of the flow. Small, sluggish breakouts of lava (smoke plumes in far distance) also remain active closer to Puʻu ʻŌʻō, roughly midway along the length of the June 27th flow.

View from above the end of the June 27th lava flow, looking along its northeast trend through the Wao Kele o Puna Forest Reserve.

On the afternoon of September 10, 2014, the flow front was 0.6 km (0.4 mi) from the boundary between the Forest Reserve and Kaohe Homesteads, visible at far right. Click to enlarge

Smoke plumes indicate the location of the June 27th lava flow, which was 0.6 km (0.4 mi) from the edge of Kaohe Homesteads, visible in foreground, on September 10. The flow was advancing toward the northeast.

Aerial Images of Puna Lava Flow Emerge

Here is an aerial image of the Puna Lava Flow on September 5th:

Click to enlarge

All images courtesy of Resource Mapping Hawaii. Click to enlarge

Here’s an aerial view showing Puna Lava Flow moving northwards from Sept 5 to 7 provide by Resource Mapping Hawaii:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

This image was taken on Septemer 7, 2014:

Aerial image flow 2

Today is the 10th.  When I get access to the updated images I’ll post that.

Albizia Tree Presentation at UH Hilo

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Faculty Congress and the College of Continuing Education and Community Service (CCECS) invite the public to a free presentation on the invasive Albizia trees. The presentation will be held on Wednesday, September 17, from 6:30-7:30 p.m. in the University Classroom Building (UCB) Room 100.

Workers clear Albizia trees from a road following Hurricane Iselle.

Workers clear Albizia trees from a road following Hurricane Iselle.

“The fast-growing Albizia trees have had a serious ecological impact on native forests,” said Springer Kaye, Big Island Invasive Species Committee (BIISC) Manager. “They also pose a real and immediate threat to the public’s safety and welfare as we saw in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Iselle.”

Kaye and Dr. Flint Hughes, research ecologist, of the USDA Forest Service Institute for Pacific Islands Forestry, will discuss community-based efforts involving State and local agencies, lawmakers, Hawai’i Electric Light Company, and other stakeholders to remove hazardous trees, and deploy field staff and volunteers to manage non-hazardous trees. Other topics of discussion include lessons learned and future steps to achieve long-term hazard mitigation.

Parking on the UH Hilo campus is free after 4 p.m. A map of the campus can be found online at http://hilo.hawaii.edu/uhh/maps.php.

For more information, call 974-7664 or email ccecs@hawaii.edu. For disability accommodations, call (808) 974-7664 (V) or (808) 932-7002 (TTY).

Wordless Wednesday – As The Lava Approaches My House

Lava Flow 910

New Lava Flow Map Released

The following map was released tonight at the Hawaii County Civil Defense meeting at Pahoa High School.

I will post the actual link and what is said about this map when USGS updates their links:

Cell phone picture of map from tonight's Civil Defense Meeting.

Cell phone picture of map from tonight’s Civil Defense Meeting.

Lava Flow Update – Flow Advances About 300 Yards in About 6 Hours

The June 27th lava flow remains active. An HVO flight early in the afternoon yesterday found that the flow had advanced ~280 m (~300 yards) north since a Civil Defense flight just after sunrise that morning (a span of ~6 hours), and the flow front had reached a large crack marked on the topographic base map (but not visible from the air). There was no evidence that the flow was entering this crack, if it exists.

A steam plume as seen from my house near Pahoa High School.

A steam plume as seen from my house near Pahoa High School.

A Civil Defense overflight this morning found that the flow front had advanced an additional 370 meters (400 yards) since yesterday afternoon. This puts the tip of the flow at 14.0 km (8.7 miles) from the vent, measured in a straight line, and 1.1 km (0.7 miles) from the Forest Reserve boundary.

The actual length of the flow, measured along the lava tube axis (so that bends in the flow are considered) is 16.0 km (9.9 miles). 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.

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, but are also producing smoke plumes a they creep into the adjacent forest.

TONIGHT – Hawaii County Civil Defense Meeting on Eruption and Lava Flow

Civildefense
Hawai’i County Civil Defense and the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory will hold additional community meetings TONIGHT and Thursday, Sept. 11 to update residents on the lava flow in the Wao Kele O Puna area.

The briefings will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Pahoa High School Cafeteria.

Lava Flow Continues Towards Pahoa – Pictures and Video

June 27th flow continues to advance north

The June 27th flow continues its advance toward the north, creating a dense smoke plume as it spreads through the forest. Click to enlarge

The tip of the active flow today was 13.7 km (8.5 miles) straight-line distance from the vent, and 1.2 km (0.7 miles) from the eastern boundary of the Wao Kele o Puna Forest Reserve. This boundary is the western edge of Kaohe Homesteads subdivision, seen in the foreground. Puʻu ʻŌʻō is visible on the horizon, partly obscured by the smoke plume. The actual length of the flow, measured along its axis, is 15.7 km (9.8 miles).

This view shows the active flow front from behind. Click to enlarge

The lava feeding the flow emerges from a crack parallel to the road at lower right, which goes to the True/Mid-Pacific geothermal well site. Kaohe Homesteads is to the right, Pāhoa is at the upper right, and Ainaloa and Hawaiian Paradise Park are at upper left.

Click to view film footage

This Quicktime video provides an aerial view of the activity at the front of the June 27th lava flow.

Breakouts remain active closer to Puʻu ʻŌʻō

Several small breakouts persist along the middle part of the June 27th flow, closer to Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Most of these breakouts are burning trees as well, as seen in this photo. The flow front is in the distance, at upper left, and the closer smoke plumes are from these other breakouts.