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Lava breakouts advance 150 yards upslope of stalled front

    This satellite image was captured on Sunday by the Advanced Land Imager instrument onboard NASA's Earth Observing 1 satellite. The image is provided courtesy of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Bright red pixels depict areas of very high temperatures and show active lava. White areas are clouds. The yellow outline is the flow margin as mapped on Dec. 30.

Breakout flows about a mile to a mile and a half behind the stalled front, advanced about 150 yards between Monday and Tuesday morning, while the front of the flow remained stalled.

Activity along the lava flow heading toward the Pahoa Marketplace appears to have shifted from the stalled front and south margins to two breakouts on the north margin of the flow, about 1 to 1.5 miles above the marketplace.

An overflight of the flow Tuesday morning showed the front of the flow and lava activity along the south margins remained stalled about 880 yards from the intersection of Highway 130 and Pahoa Village Road and about 580 yards upslope of the marketplace. There was also some surface activity at a breakout about 200 yards above the flow front.

At this time, the lava does not pose a threat to area communities, according to a Hawaii County Civil Defense statement.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Scientist-in-Charge Jim Kauahikaua said it’s not clear if a new flow front would develop at one of the upslope spots or if lava might flow again from the stalled front. He says lava could flow from multiple spots.

The lava from the breakout was heading north on Tuesday.

Hawaii County Civil Defense Director Darryl Oliveira says the county will meet with merchants at the Pahoa Marketplace.

Hawaii County officials are closing Railroad Avenue at noon Wednesday, Oli-veira said. The alternative access route opened last month to give drivers time to adjust to the road. Oli-veira said the county will close the road for maintenence work. -The road will reopen if the lava threatens to the area’s main highway. 

The next lava flow community meeting is 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Pahoa High School cafeteria.


The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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