Afternoon Lava Report, 10/31/14

The lava flow front is still stalled, though a number of breakouts are active upslope, including one about 40 yards fro a residential structure on the south side of the flow and another is about 25 yards from the fence of the transfer station on the north side. The couple residing in the residence has moved out.

At the summit, the lava lake continues to recede. According to Jeff Sutton of Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, summit deflation can correlate with reduced activity at the end of the flow within a couple of days.

Despite efforts to protect power poles on Apa`a Street, lava still burned through the base of one pole.  HELCO crews managed to cut the pole loose from the line,  and the line remains suspended above the flow. Extra protection is being added to threatened  neighboring poles.









Morning Lava Report: Lava Stalled at Edge, but Burns Ag Structure Upslope.


The leading edge of the flow remains stalled about 480 feet from Pahoa Village Road (Old Government Road, but the flow is fattening up upslope, threatening structures there.  According to Hawaii Volcano Observatory, “The lobe downslope from Volcano Observatory was active overnight in a forested area, burning trees and causing “numerous” methane explosions. A new, small breakout on the Pahoa side of the flow above Apa`a Street burned a cattle shed that held salt blocks. A lobe on the north side on the Kea’au side of the flow advanced overnight to within 44 yards of the old Transfer Station  and the street, but was advancing at the rate of only a little over a couple of yards an hour.

From Hawaii Volcano Observatory: the flow as of yesterday.  The active lobe near the old Transfer Station, lower left, has advanced since this map was made.


Evening Lava Report, 10/30/14: The Action’s All Uphill.

According to Hawaii Volcano Observatory,  as of five p.m., the current leading edge of the flow remained stalled about 170 yards above Pahoa Village Road (Old Government Road).  But the leading edge was still “inflated” with some small breakouts just behind it, so “it is possible that the flow may advance again without warning.” Meanwhile a lava hand pushed its way out of the Kea’au-side edge of the flow about 110 yards downslope from the already-inundated  Pahoa Cemetery, and was coming down alongside the existing flow.  HVO called that breakout the “major locus” of the flow at present. Another breakout near the old Pahoa Transfer Station was also still active, advancing at a rate of 8-9 yards per hour.  It was about 110 yards above Apa`a Street as of 5 p.m.

The lava pool at the summit was deflating  today, with a drop of several yards in the lava lake at Halemaumau. Such deflation,  HVO noted, was “often linked with a decrease in the eruption of lave from Pu`u O`o”–the eruption that’s feeding the lava flow near Pahoa–which could lead to less activity at the flow front “in coming days.”‘

County Civil Defense has issued no new bulletins about the flow since 2:45 this afternoon.




Lava News: Civil Defense Says Flow Active but Front is Stalled.

According to a mid-afternoon report from Civil Defense, the flow “continues to remain active  however has not advanced since 6:30 this morning, the front area has shown signs of widening with breakouts along the flanks or margins. Currently the flow front is approximately 60 yards wide. The flow front is currently 480 feet from Pahoa Village Road. A new breakout located upslope from the flow front on the north side is active and advancing in a northeast direction and will be monitored closely.”

There have been no updates from Hawaii Volcano Observatory since early this morning.

Lava News: Contrary to Reports, Pahoa Police Station Remains Open

From Hawaii Police Dept.:

The Puna police station in Pahoa remains open and police have no plans to close it.  A misleading news report wrongly implied that the Pahoa station was no longer occupied.

If and when lava blocks access to the Puna station to residents of lower Puna, police will set up a secondary location somewhere on the south side of the lava flow. That location has yet to be finalized.  Police will continue to patrol all occupied areas of the Puna District.

Morning Lava Report 10/30/14: Lava less than 480 feet from Road; More Breakouts Upslope.

The leading edge of the lava flow is continuing to advance northeast towards P?hoa Village Road through the first residential parcel it entered.  Civil Defense reported at around 8 a.m. that the flow was  then “160 yards or approximately 480 feet from Pahoa Village Road.”  Civil Defense reported that the lava was moving at less than  yards an hour at that time.

Some of the action is happening elsewhere, however.  In a 9:35 report,  Hawaii Volcano Observatory noted that  “Two active breakouts were noted on the west side of the flow just upslope from Apa`a St.”  The first breakout started about 167 yard upslope from Apa`a Street and had moved about 110 yards downhill on a front about 55 yards wide : “This breakout looks like it is headed for the ranch house (the one with the “not our cattle” sign)…and may threaten a second utility pole.” The second started about 385 yards  upslope of Apa`a St. and had  pushed out about 55 yards.  HVO also reported that  the lava flow lobe on the Kalapana side of the flow was “weakly active” about 66 yards upslope from Cemetery Road, with “small breakouts on interior of the lobe” but no activity on its margins.

Lava News: Help for Horses

If you have to move but can’t take your horse, call Bird McIver at 987-9064.  Bird runs a nonprofit called CB Horse Rescue, which has been helping island horses and donkeys for years. ” We rescue, rehabilitate, and rehome horses in need,” she says.  “Hopefully people will call before the situation gets to the starvation point.”

If anyone else has room for animal evacuees, let us know and we’ll post a notice here at BIC.

Evening Lava Report: Don’t Just Watch the Leading Edge.

The lava flow continues to advance northeastward through private property above Old Government Road (Pahoa Village Road)  Hawaii Volcano Observatory’s 5:52 p.m. report said that the  leading edge of the flow had moved about 136 yards in the past 24 hours,  and  had advanced through the afternoon at about 11 yards per hour.  Civil Defense’s 5:30 p.m. report estimated the rate of advance at  5-10 yards per hour.

HVO estimated that as of 4:15 pm,  the flow was about 202 yards in a straight line distance from P?hoa Village Road and about 850 yards  from Highway 130.

Two small breakouts  small breakouts on the north side of the flow that have advanced  about 75 to 120 yards in the past day, broadening the overall flow, which remains only about 55 yards across at its leading edge.  The overall shape of the flow is much broader further upslope, due in part to cumulative breakouts; just because a house was missed by the initial flow doesn’t mean it’s out of danger.

From Hawaii Volcano Observatory: “This map uses a satellite image acquired in March 2014 (provided by Digital Globe) as a base to show the area around the front of the June 27th lava flow. The area of the flow on October 28, 2014, at 1:00 PM is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the flow as mapped on October 29 at 11:30 AM is shown in red. The dotted blue lines show steepest-descent paths in the area, calculated from a 1983 digital elevation model.”

Lava News: Kua O Ka La Charter School will “Operate on Both Sides” of Flow

According to the Web site for Kua O Ka La New Century Public Charter School, plans to “be operating on both sides of the lava flow once it crosses the highway.”

The school is already been using the Hilo Boy’s and Girl’s Club on Haile St. in Hilo  for one of its programs, and plans to use that site as a campus for  students on the Hilo side of the Pele Partition if the flow crosses the the road. The school is also “in the process of establishing transportation routes on both ‘sides.'”  The school is also waiving bus fees for its students.

The school is seeking inputs from parents and students about how it can best serve them during the transition. For more information, go to the school’s Web site.

The school’s main campus  is located at 14-5322 Kapoho-Kalapana Rd. (the “Red Road) on the Puna coast.

Lava News: Morning Update, Wednesday, 10/29/14

According to Hawaii Volcano Observatory, the leading edge of the flow “continues to advance northeast towards Pahoa Village Road through the first residential parcel it entered” at a rate of  about 5.5 yards per hour:  “If the flow continues in this manner, we expect it to cross Pahoa Village Road between Apa`a St and Post Office Road.”  County Civil Defense reported at 8:15 p.m.  that the flow had advanced about 90 yards since 6:30 last night and was a bout 280 yards from Pahoa Village Road. Civil Defense estimated that the rate of  flow was averaging about 10 yards per hour.  Smoke conditions were “moderate” with trade winds pushing the smoke to the south and southwest.  What’s burning right now includes “a variety or material” including old tires. Those with respiratory problems are advised to “take precautions and to remain indoors.” An evacuation advisory remains in effect for those located downslope from the flow.

The Pahoa Village Road between Apa’a Street and the Post Office Road remains closed and limited to area residents only. Civil Defense advises that  drivers “should use caution and slow down on Highway 130 near the Post Office Road intersection. Residents of the restricted area should not bring unauthorized persons into the restricted area.”

The Red Cross has opened a shelter for those who need to evacuate, including those who need to leave because of respiratory problems, at the Church of a Sure Foundation at 16-1592 Pohaku Circle, off of Highway 130 between Keaau-Pahoa Road and Pohaku Place.   The shelter is open 24/7. Cots are available, but bring your own pillows and additional blankets if needed. Pets in carriers are allowed.  For more information, call .

Correction: You can Still Vote Absentee, if You Already Have an Absentee Ballot

Earlier today we ran a story about changes in the polling places due to the lava crisis.  In it, we misinterpreted an Elections Commission press release, and said that October 28 was the last day to vote via absentee ballot.  That was incorrect.  Today was the last day on which voters could request an absentee ballot.  In preparation for the lava flow, county election officials mailed absentee mail applications to voters in the area and set-up an early vote location at Nanawale Community Center, which is open through October 31, 2014.

We regret the error.

Lava News: Evening Update, 10/29/14

According to County Civil Defense’s 6:15  release,  lava was 370 yards from Pahoa Village Road.   Hawaii Volcano Observatory’s report, issued a few minutes before, pegged the flow’s position  as of 5:30 p.m. at 340 yards from Old Government Road and 985 yards from Highway 130.   Civil Defense said the flow was averaging 10-15 yards per hour; HVO simply said the rate of advancement was “variable” but had reached speeds of up to 71 yards per hour. The flow front is currently moving in a northeast direction and has entered a private residential property, burning not just brush, but items such as old tires.  Caution is advised for those with respiratory problems.

The Red Cross has opened a shelter for those who need to evacuate, including those who need to leave because of respiratory problems, at the Church of a Sure Foundation at 16-1592 Pohaku Circle, off of Highway 130 between Keaau-Pahoa Road and Pohaku Place.   The shelter is open 24/7. Cots are available, but bring your own pillows and additional blankets if needed. Pets in carriers are allowed.  For more information, call 808-853-8221.
Above: With permission from the property owners, HVO supplied this photograph of lava pushing its way through a corrugated iron fence to enter private property near Pahoa.

Lava News: DOE Press Release on Public School Closures

HONOLULU – The Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) is closing some schools ahead of the rapidly advancing Kilauea lava flow on Hawaii Island. The pace of the flow has accelerated the implementation of DOE’s contingency plans, which will affect about 1,700 students and 300 employees beginning this week.

Mary Correa, complex superintendent for Ka‘u, Kea‘au, Pahoa, has announced that beginning Wednesday, October 29, there will be no school for students at Keonepoko Elementary School. This is to allow DOE faculty, staff, administrators, facilities’ teams enough time to complete administrative work in preparation of the new facility to receive students. The work will also include moving the school, furniture and equipment to the Keonepoko North facility at Kea‘au High School from Wednesday through Friday, October 29-31, and longer as needed. Wednesday will mark the indefinite closure of Keonepoko as it is in the anticipated path of the lava flow.

Additionally, beginning on Thursday, October 30, there will be no school for students at Pahoa High & Intermediate, Pahoa Elementary, Kea‘au High and Kea‘au Middle to allow administrators, faculty and staff from those schools to help with administrative work and prepare for the transition of students affected by the move.

About 850 Pahoa students who reside north of the flow (Orchidland, Ainaloa, Hawaiian Paradise Park) are moving to the Kea‘au complex. About 850 students who reside south of the flow (Hawaiian Beaches, Hawaiian Shores, Nanawale, Leilani, Kalapana & Pahoa) will attend Pahoa High & Intermediate or Pahoa Elementary and report to school on Monday, November 10. Bus pickup sites will be disseminated tomorrow.

The Pahoa secondary students moving to Kea‘au complex will report to their new campuses at Kea‘au High and Kea‘au Middle on Friday, November 7. Keonepoko and Pahoa Elementary students who are moving will report to their new school at Keonepoko North on Monday, November 10.

The students who remain at Pahoa High & Intermediate, and Pahoa Elementary will report to school on Monday, November 10. Students who are currently enrolled at Kea‘au High and Kea‘au Middle will return to school on Monday, November 10.

View Puna Lava Flow schools in a larger map

??“Our teachers and principals have been tremendous in their efforts to maintain a sense of normalcy in our schools, all while preparing for this week,” said Correa.

Last month, the DOE announced it was allowing teachers and students to continue teaching and learning, while making plans to accommodate them at alternate sites.

The DOE and its teams have been working with many in the community to erect a temporary school to be named “Keonepoko North” for elementary students at Kea‘au High’s parking lot that would accommodate at least 17 classrooms.

“The flexibility of our staff, the cooperation of our families, and the collaboration with Hawai‘i County agencies have been instrumental in making these adjustments for all schools,” stated Schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi.

Keonepoko and Pahoa High School will remain as election polling sites for the General Election on Tuesday, November 4.

About the Hawaii State Department of Education
The Hawaii State Department of Education is the ninth-largest U.S. school district and the only statewide educational system in the country. It is comprised of 255 schools and 34 charter schools, and serves more than 185,000 students. King Kamehameha III established Hawaii’s public school system in 1840. The DOE is in the midst of a range of historic efforts to transform its public education system to ensure graduates succeed in college or careers.


Lava News: Pele Parts the Polling Places

Ed. Note:  When we published this earlier today, we missed a key word in the the press release from the Hawaii Election Commission.  People can still vote absentee in the general election, but they needed to have requested an absentee ballot by 4:30 this afternoon.  The Chronicle regrets the error–AM

Today is the last day to request an absentee ballot.  But if voters in Puna choose to do it the old fashioned way on November 4,  they may may find their precincts were altered by the Pele Partition.

The Hawaii Elections Office has announced that residents who normally Pahoa Community Center (04-03) who live  north  of the lava flow will vote at Hawaiian Paradise Community Center (04-01) on general election day.
“The flow is expected to cross Highway 130, cutting off access to voters living in Ainaloa and Orchidlands Estates,” said Chief Elections Officer Scott Nago. “We’ll be providing poll workers at Hawaiian Paradise Community Center with the poll books and ballots to allow voters in these communities the opportunity to vote on November 4.”

An estimated 2,000 voters are affected by this move.
Voters that still have access to the Pahoa Community Center may still vote there.
In preparation for the lava flow, county election officials mailed absentee mail applications to voters in the area and set-up an early vote location at Nanawale Community Center which is open through October 31, 2014. Acording to a Department of Education press release, polling places at Keonepoko and Pahoa High School will remain open for the General Election even though classes on November 4th will be canceled there due to the lava crisis.

Absentee applications must be received by the County Clerk’s office no later than 4:30 p.m. today. Applications are available at post offices, libraries, satellite city hall, county clerk offices


Lava News: The Morning Report

According to Hawaii Volcano Observatory report a 9: 18 a.m, “The most rapidly advancing lobe of the flow entered the first occupied residential property at about 2 a.m. this morning, and is continuing to advance northeast towards P?hoa Village Road, currently at a rate of 15 m/hr (16 yd/hr). We expect the flow to cross Pahoa Village Road between Apa?a St and Post Office Road…. The flow continues to remain active and has advanced approximately 90 yards since yesterday morning and is currently approximately 510 yards from P?hoa Village Road.  The flow front is currently moving in a northeast direction and has entered a private residential property. The flow advancement has been inconsistent however averaging approximately 5 yards per hour.”

County Civil defense reported similar figures in its 8 a.m. release. It noted “currently all burning is limited to vegetation only–good news to homeowners–and that “smoke conditions were light to moderate,” mitigated by trade winds, but advised those with respiratory problems to “take necessary precautions and to stay indoors.”  Pahoa Village Road between Apa`a Street and Post Office Road remains closed.

According to the Hawaii Island United Way, the nonprofit Neighborhood Place of Puna “is taking on the task of assisting with relocating families in the path of the lava. They are coordinating with several groups and anyone needing assistance with moving should call 965-5550 for help.”  NPP is also seeking volunteers with trucks, “large or small” and or with muscles and time to assist with packing and loading.  Those who’d like to help can also call 965-5550. Big Island Chronicle has received at least one report of members of a local Boy Scout troop who were out assisting residents with packing  and moving yesterday.

Kona Community Hospital has donated a new mobile medical van, which is expected to arrive at 1:30 today to be installed at the South Pahoa Annex.

Visit to find other resources, donate, volunteer, or request assistance.