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Hawaii News

Activity at breakout increases as lava front remains stalled

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CRAIG GIMA / CGIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM
Lava crossed a fire road above the Pahoa Marketplace before stalling last week.

PAHOA, Hawaii >> While lava flowing toward Pahoa Marketplace continued to stall, Hawaii County Civil Defense reported some activity Monday at an upslope breakout area.

An overflight of the flow Monday 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. The front of the flow hasn’t advanced since Wednesday.

Hawaii County Civil Defense Director Darryl Oli­veira on Monday noted an increase in activity and advancement upslope along the north side of the flow. The most active breakout, 1.5 miles from the marketplace, had advanced 200 yards since Sunday. 

Oliveira said it’s too early to tell what path the breakout might take or whether it will head toward the marketplace.

Jim Kauahikaua of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said it’s possible that an upslope breakout could become the new leading edge of the flow. 

Smoke conditions were moderate Monday with a northwest wind blowing smoke south.

Hawaii County officials will close Railroad Avenue at noon Wednesday, Oli­veira said. The alternative access route opened last month to give drivers time to adjust to the road. Oli­veira 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.

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