Hawaii Volcano Observatory Update: Lava could reach Pahoa in 16 days

According to the latest HVO update, the lava will flow near or through local communities to reach Pahoa within 16-18 days if it does not turn northward.  

Surface flows have advanced approximately 8.5 miles (straight-line distance) from the vent since they first entered a ground crack on August 18.  The flow has been through three cycles of traveling underground for several days, then resurfacing to form a small lava pad, in two of the cases, further downslope. Lava emerged from the last crack on September 6 and moved as a surface flow to the north.

Over the last few days, the flow has advanced northward at a rate of 1,300 feet per day to within 0.7 miles of the eastern boundary of the Wao Kele o Puna Forest Reserve, by yesterday afternoon. At this average rate of advancement, scientists project that lava could flow from its current location either through the north part of Kaohe Homesteads, or to the north of Kaohe Homesteads, to reach the government road in Pahoa within 16-18 days.  All depends on if lava is further confined within the cracks and down-dropped blocks within the East Rift Zone of Kīlauea volcano. These estimates will be continually refined by the HVO as they track this lava flow.


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