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Hawaii News

Branch of lava monitored as flow continues advance

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COURTESY HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY
A Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologist used a handheld GPS unit Friday to mark lava flow margin coordinates in Pahoa.
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COURTESY HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY
The flow is being monitored but poses no immediate threat to nearby communities, say Hawaii County Civil Defense officials.

The front of Kilauea’s so-called June 27 lava flow advanced about 225 yards in a north-northeast direction from Friday to Saturday morning.

The flow front remained about 1.7 miles upslope of the Highway 130 and Pahoa Village Road intersection.

Hawaii County Civil Defense and the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory are monitoring a narrow flow lobe that has branched to the west and is following a "steepest-descent path" toward the intersection of Pahoa Village Road and Highway 130, in the vicinity of Pahoa Marketplace.

The current activity poses no immediate threat to area communities, Civil Defense officials said.

Smoke in the immediate area was light on Saturday morning, with a light wind blowing the smoke to the south-southeast. Smoke may increase in some areas and residents who are sensitive or have respiratory problems are advised to take precautions and to remain indoors.

Light rain in the area also was helping to reduce the smoke; there was no fire threat as of a Saturday morning assessment.

Pahoa Village Road remains open to all traffic but motorists are advised to be careful as some utility pole protection material remains in place.

Meanwhile, the public could soon get an up-close look at portions of the cooling lava flow on Hawaii island.

Hawaii County Civil Defense administrator Darryl Oliveira says they plan to allow people to walk up to — but not on — the lava.

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported Friday that officials hope to arrange viewings within the next week.

Reopening Apaa Street would offer the general public the first opportunity to see the flow for themselves. Schoolchildren and journalists already got a peek.

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