LavaTalk: September 3, 2014 update on Kilauea’s lava flow

Photos courtesy of USGS/HVO taken September 3, 2014

This image is from a research camera positioned northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, near the east margin of the Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flow field, monitoring the June 27th lava flow.  The camera looks northeast, down the East Rift Zone. The cone near the right side of the image is Heiheiahulu. Image taken at 2:39 p.m. September 3, 2014. Photo courtesy of USGS/HVO

This image is from a research camera positioned northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, near the east margin of the Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flow field, monitoring the June 27th lava flow. The camera looks northeast, down the East Rift Zone. The cone near the right side of the image is Heiheiahulu. Image taken at 2:39 p.m. September 3, 2014. Photo courtesy of USGS/HVO

Hawaii County Civil Defense Lava Flow Update for September 3, 2014

This morning’s helicopter over flight and assessment shows the lava has exited the crack system and a surface flow has resumed. The surface flow is moving very slowly and does not pose an immediate threat to area residents. The surface flow is located approximately .9 miles southwest or upslope of the Wao Kele Puna Forest Reserve boundary and moving in a east/northeast direction.

Presently, the current activities and flow does not present with an immediate or imminent threat to area communities. Eruption activity will continue to be monitored and additional updates will be provided.

Although the current flow activity does not pose an immediate threat to area communities, residents are encouraged to continue to review their emergency plans in the event conditions change and should an evacuation be necessary.

The public is reminded that the flow cannot be accessed and is not visible from any public areas. Please do not attempt to access the area as there are many cracks and dense vegetation. In addition please refrain from attempting to do so through the Kaohe Homesteads subdivision and respect the privacy of area residents. Enforcement officers of the State Department of Land and Natural Resources will be conducting patrols and reminding persons in the area of the restricted access.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Update for Wednesday, September 3, 2014

June 27th Lava Flow Observations: The June 27th lava flow remains active. A Civil Defense overflight this morning observed lava issuing onto the surface from the steaming ground crack, and moving slowly through thick forest. They reported that the most distant active lava was approximately 13.2 km (8.2 miles) from the vent and 1.3 km (0.8 miles) from the eastern boundary of the Wao Kele o Puna Forest Reserve. The farthest steaming ground crack was 1.1 km (0.7 miles) from the boundary. An HVO overflight is scheduled for this afternoon and an updated map will be posted later today.

Small breakouts also remain active closer to PuÊ»u ʻŌʻō, roughly midway along the length of the June 27th flow. None of these breakouts were very vigorous when observed on Monday’s overflight, and there was no significant change overnight based on webcam views. Some of these breakouts are also creeping into the forest and producing smoke plumes.

Lava Flow Update Community Meetings

Hawai’i County Civil Defense and the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory will host additional community meetings to update residents on the lava flow in the Wao Kele O Puna area.

  • 6:30 p.m. Thursday, September 4, 2014

The briefings will be held at the Pahoa High School Cafeteria.

View Pahoa High School Cafeteria in a larger map


Unpredictable lava flows in the Puna District have seemingly stalled, however they remind us that upfront planning now can ease stressful situations should there be a need to evacuate. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

The Hawaii Island Humane Society has a few tips to help keep animals safe in the event of an evacuation:

HIHS encourages all pet owners to be safe and prepared. If you are advised to evacuate, please consider your pet’s safety. Do not leave animals behind.

Develop a plan for their ongoing care including transportation arrangements.

Larger animals including horses and livestock may need to be moved well in advance. Call friends or family members to locate alternate pastures.

Gather items for your pet’s emergency kit –

  • Crate
  • Leash
  • Food
  • Water
  • Towel
  • Identification
  • Medication (if applicable)

If you evacuate, arrive at your destination prepared with your pet’s emergency kit and take your pets!

The mission of the Hawaii Island Humane Society is to promote respect for all animals, prevent cruelty to animals, eliminate pet overpopulation, and enhance the bond between humans and animals. HIHS holds a contract with the County of Hawaii to enforce certain animal-related laws and it offers 24-hour service for injured animals and other animal emergencies, humane education classes, low-cost spay and neuter services, lost and found assistance, micro-chipping and more.

For further information, call 808-329-1175 or visit Helps Animal Evacuation

The June 27 lava flow poses a threat to farms and homes in the Puna area near Pahoa. Since this flow is in an agricultural area, it also threatens farm animals such as chickens, ducks, sheep, goats, horses, pigs, in addition to dogs and cats.

All these animals would need to be evacuated in the event of an approaching lava flow. As people prepare for possible evacuation, they need to prepare and plan for evacuating their livestock and pets, too.

Finding accommodations for displaced people and their animals could become a major challenge as this lava flow continues. H.E.L.P. Puna is providing a free website service for residents who need to find places to protect their animals, and other residents in safe areas who wish to offer their properties as “Places of Refuge”.

H.E.L.P. is the Hawaii Evacuation of Livestock and Pets, a program of the Good Shepherd Foundation, a nonprofit organization with an animal sanctuary in Opihikao, not far from the lava flow.

Everyone is invited to offer their property as a haven from the lava flow for any livestock and pets they can accommodate. Some will be willing to accept only certain types of animals, such as dogs or cats. Others may have large fenced pastures or yards where they can take horses, sheep, or goats. Still others may have small backyards where they can only take chickens.

Those offering their places as refuges can do so for free or for a fee. It is between the parties to decide all financial issues and ensure there is a good fit.

We also invite those with animal trailers to offer their services on this website. Some people will need help moving their animals.

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