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New lava flow front advanced 400 yards since Sunday

  • USGS / HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY
    This Nov. 16 photo shows one of many small pahoehoe toes and surface flows in the area near the underground crack system west of Kahoe Homesteads.
  • USGS / HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY
    The lava flow in the area of ground cracks is seen in this Nov. 24 photo. Portions of the flow surface include numerous downed trees, resulting from the initial phases of the flow burning through the trunks, causing the trees to topple.
  • USGS / HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY
    This Nov. 24 photo looks downslope towards the east. The active breakout is burning vegetation along its margins, creating numerous small smoke plumes. Residential areas are visible in the upper portion of the photograph, with P?hoa in the upper left.
  • ENA MEDIA / BLUE HAWAIIAN HELICOPTERS
    This Nov. 27 photo shows smoke rising from burning vegetation at the edge of the lava flow front.
  • ENA MEDIA / BLUE HAWAIIAN HELICOPTERS
    Trees burn on the lava flow in this Nov. 27 photo.
  • ENA MEDIA / BLUE HAWAIIAN HELICOPTERS
    Lava burns trees near the flow front on Nov. 27.
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An active lava breakout between an abandoned geothermal well and the Kaohe Homesteads has “become the new flow front” and is advancing at a rate of several hundred yards a day, officials said.

The flow was within 2.3 miles of Apaa Road and 2.9 miles of the Highway 130 and Pahoa Village Road intersection, Big Island Civil Defense and Hawaiian Volcano Observatory officials said Monday.

It moved about 400 yards since Sunday and a little more than a mile since last week, but does not pose an immediate threat to residents, Civil Defense officials said after a Monday morning overflight.

The old front near Pahoa Village Road remained cold and inactive and Pahoa Village Road, the main road through Pahoa, remained open Monday.

Officials reopened the road on Wednesday, ahead of the Thanksgiving weekend, although they cautioned drivers to use caution in the area and to respect private property and the residents in the area affected by the lava flow.

Smoke conditions in the area were light MOnday morning, with winds blowing the smoke from burning vegetation in a southeast direction.

In another apparently unrelated development, Civil Defense officials said the Puna Geothermal Venture Plant reported a steam release from its plant reinjection system at about 7:30 a.m. Monday. 

The release lasted about a minute and no hydrogen sulfide was noted, officials said.

Emergency crews were on scene investigating Monday morning.

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