Lava Update, Monday Morning, 10/27/14: Pahoa Evacuations Get Underway

As of 7:30 a.m, the lava was approaching Old Government Road in Pahoa between Post Office Road and Apa`a Street.  That section of the road has been closed to all but residents.  The flow has advanced about 275 yards since yesterday, cutting completely through the cemetery, and is advancing at the rate of approximately 10-15 yards per hour. It is now about 100 yards from the nearest residence.  Smoke conditions are described as “light to moderate,” but those with respiratory conditions may need to leave the area.

According to a Hawaii Volcano Observatory report yesterday evening,


“The relatively narrow finger of lava that crossed Apa?a Street yesterday morning continued to travel downslope, splitting into two lobes as it advanced. The faster, northern lobe crossed completely through the P?hoa cemetery by mid-morning, while the slower southern lobe was advancing through open pasture south of the cemetery. Another lobe farther upslope, just above Apa?a Street, advanced about 50 meters (55 yards) since yesterday (Saturday, Oct. 25.) …. As of 5 p.m., the faster-moving finger was about 390 meters (425 yards) downslope of Apa?a Street and 660 meters (720 yards) upslope from P?hoa Village Road. It had an average width of about 40 m (45 yd). The slightly slower-moving southern lobe in the pasture south of the cemetery reached slightly steeper terrain at mid-afternoon today, and was traveling at about 9 meters per hour (10 yards per hour) at 5 PM. It will likely rejoin with the finger that came through the cemetery near the northeast end of the pasture.”

In its report this morning at 8:45, HVO said the flow had slowed during the night toless than two meter  (2.2 yards) per hour from 2:30 am to 7:30, but “is expected to pick up some speed today as it traverses slightly steeper terrain.”

Lava flow prediction  involves a huge chaos factor, but HVO’s best guess last night was  that the flow’s most likely path would take it down a course through a pasture “mid-way between the cemetery and P?hoa Village Road.” HVO will issue an updated report later this morning.  It did not revise that prediction this morning.

Civil defense workers are going door-to-door, notifying residents in the immediate path of the flow to evacuate.  The Red Cross has opened a shelter for evacuees at the Sure Foundation Church at 16-1592 Pohaku Circle in Orchidland Estates.

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