Lava Report: Pele Stays Away; Pahoa Road to Open in “A few days.”

The lava flow remains active, but well upslope of Pahoa, prompting the county finally to “initiate” opening the closed section of Old Government Road, a.k.a. Pahoa Village Road, that’s been closed between Apa`a Street and Post Office Road. But the the road may still be closed to through traffic for a few more days.

“The reopening of the Pahoa Village Road will be initiated starting tomorrow Monday, November 24th, and may take a few days to complete,” said County Civil Service in its morning report. “Utility crews will begin to remove the protection placed around the utility poles and this work will require the road to remain closed while equipment is operating in the area. ”    Mayor Billy Kenoi, at a lava briefing last week, expressed a belief that the road would be reopened by Thanksgiving.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory and Civil Defense staff reported new lava activity in the flow near Pahoa, but  breakouts continue in the mauka portion of the flow’s tube system. According to HVO, the lowermost active breakout had pushed to within about 3.6 miles mauka of Apaa`a Street, near the old True Geothermal drilling site in Wao Kele O Puna Forest Reserve.

This morning’s Volcano Watch column, written by HVO staff, noted such interruptions were “typical” of pahoehoe flows, and that while the current stalling of the flow near Pahoa was “good news in the short term,” the flow still represented “a potential hazard to downslope communities. ”  The column also noted that it was “unclear how far lava will be able to reoccuyp the tube or where renewed surface flows might head.”

Below: false-color image from NASA’s Earth Observing 1 satellite shows high-temperature areas indicating active lava breakouts in red.  Photo courtesy of Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

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