Pele continues her advance along the new path that she began pioneering in the last week of November, but the rate of advance has slowed greatly whle the lava pools in a flat area. As of around 8:30 this morning, Hawaii County Civil Defense said that the flow front had advanced approximately 220 yards in the past 24 hours, but Hawaiian Volcano Laboratory’s morning report said that the lava had “advanced little since yesterday.” HVO attributed the slow progress to the flatness of the terrain. Both the HVO and Civil Defense reports agreed, however, that the flow front was 2.2 miles above the intersection of Highway 130 and Old Government Road (Pahoa Village Road).
The big question remained: where does the lava go once it leaves the flats? “Until the flow passes this area of flat topography, the future flow path is uncertain,” noted the HVO report, which also repeated that “The front of the flow is in area where several lines of steepest descent nearly converge,” as it had said in reports last week. But HVO’s map of the flow, which has not been updated since December 1, continues to show only two such paths of steepest descent, marked by blue lines: one leading toward the lower part of Hawaii Paradise Park, and another headed more or less straight for the intersection of Route 130 and Old Government Road (Pahoa Village Road), with its complex of shopping centers. An HVO spokesperson, appearing on Hawaii Public Radio recently, also cited only two routes.
On the map included with Civil Defense’s morning report, below, the leading edge of the flow is marked by a small yellow dot beside a rectangle containing the words. “New Flow Front.” The area in red still marks the new flow finger’s extent as of December 1.