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Hawaii isle officials see ‘sluggish’ activity at lava breakout

  • USGS
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PAHOA, HAWAII » Hawaii County officials continued Friday to monitor breakouts of lava upslope from the Kilauea Volcano flow front that stalled Monday afternoon.

The leading edge of the June 27 lava flow remained about 0.4 mile from Pahoa Marketplace and 0.6 mile upslope of the intersection of Highway 130 and Pahoa Village Road. It stalled there at about 4:30 p.m. Monday, Hawaii County Civil Defense said.

The stall is a reprieve for store owners in the shopping plaza, where the lava threat prompted the recent closing of a gas station, a grocery store and numerous businesses. Business owners shut down operations when the overall lava advancement rate jumped from 110 yards a day to about 490 yards a day. Had that pace remained steady, the molten rock could have reached the shopping area around Christmas Day.

While the front of the flow hasn’t advanced in the past five days, county officials continue to monitor breakouts.

Darryl Oliveira, Hawaii County Civil Defense director, said the closest breakout is about 50 to 100 yards from the center of the flow, but it does not pose an immediate threat to the community.

"Activity was slow and sluggish" at the breakout Friday, he said.

Oliveira said earlier this week that it is possible for the closest breakout to eventually take over as the new leading flow front.

Meanwhile, smoke conditions were moderate to light with a west wind blowing the smoke in an east-southeast direction through the Pahoa and lower Puna areas.

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