In their latest Kilauea status update issued 08:06 UTC today, HVO said that the June 27th flow remains active, with a new lobe advancing an average of 285 m/day (310 yd/day) between December 9 and 16.
The leading edge is about 1.5 km (0.9 mi) from the Pahoa Marketplace, located near the intersection of Highway 130 and Pāhoa Village Road.
Since this new flow broke out from the lava tube along a crack system on about November 19, its advance rate has varied from less than 100 m/day (110 yd/day) to more than 450 m/day (490 yd/day), averaging nearly 300 m/day (330 yd/day).
Image credit: USGS/HVO (see large map)
From the breakout point in the crack system the flow is now about 8 km (5 m) in length, and has moved along a new calculated steepest descent path based on a 1983 digital elevation model of the ground. The steepest descent path leads to the Pahoa Marketplace.
At the average rate of advance of the past week, lava could reach the marketplace and Highway 130 in about 5 days, HVO said.
Image credit: USGS/HVO (see large map)
This photograph looks downslope towards Pāhoa, and shows the active flow front moving through dense vegetation upslope of Pāhoa Marketplace and Highway 130. Image credit: USGS/HVO
The eruption rate measured today from the Pu`u` Ō`ō vent is not significantly different from the measurement obtained on December 9. A tiltmeter at Kīlauea’s summit recorded an overall inflationary trend during the past week, but has not changed in the past 24 hours. This suggests that the advance rate of the active flow is not likely to slow appreciably during the next few days, barring a sudden, significant deflationary tilt at the summit or large, new breakouts upslope.
Several breakouts upslope were observed by HVO scientists during today’s overflight along the margins of the new flow and also from the crack system and upslope near Pu`u` Ō`ō. These breakouts, however, have not slowed the active flow front based on today’s observations.
Video courtesy of BigIslandVideoNews
The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) said they have 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. 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. This 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.