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Lava Crosses Apaa Street; Officials Begin Evacuation Notices

County of Hawaii
Credit USGS
Lava crossed Apaa Street early Saturday morning. A utility pole, far right, was surrounded by lava but remained standing. The hope is that the protective insulation and cinder/cement barrier around the pole will prevent it from burning through.

The lava flow heading towards Pahoa reached Apaa Street early Saturday morning. County officials say the lava crossed the road at 3:50 a.m. and was advancing at a rate of 10 yards per hour.

As of Saturday afternoon, the lava flow front is just six-tenths of a mile from Pahoa Village Road, the main drag that runs through town. County crews are currently going door-to-door to about 50 homes, alerting residents that are down-slope of the flow to prepare for a possible evacuation in the next three to five days.

The Hawaii County Civil Defense had the following update at 2 p.m. today:

The flow continues to remain active and has advanced approximately 70 yards since 6:30 this morning.  The flow front crossed Apa’a Street at approximately 3:50am this morning and continues to advance in a northeast direction towards the cemetery.  The flow is currently moving at approximately 10 yards per hour.  Smoke from the burning asphalt is not affecting area communities at this time however residents are advised that conditions could change with the varying winds.  

 Civil Defense, HELCO, and Community Emergency response Team personnel are conducting door to door notifications of residents in the down slope areas of Pahoa Village to insure residents are aware of current activities.  Based on the current flow location, direction and advancement, residents in the flow path will be placed on an evacuation notice.  

The evacuation notice means residents in the flow path areas should prepare for possible evacuation in the next three to five days.  Those area residents will be kept informed of the flow movement and are asked to complete all necessary preparations for a possible evacuation by Tuesday October 28th.

 Apa’a Street and Cemetery Road will remaind closed between the Pahoa Transfer Station and the Kaohe Homesteads Road.  In addition, Civil Defense and public safety personnel will be operating in the area round the clock to maintain close observations of flow activity.

Additional updates will be broadcasted as conditions change.

Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon joined HPR in May 2012 as an intern for the morning talk show The Conversation. She has since worn a variety of hats around the station, doing everything from board operator to producer.
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