Big Island officials: Lava flow no reason to alter vacation plans

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Tourism officials on the Big Island of Hawaii said a new Kilauea lava flow currently poses no threat to any of the destination’s tourism infrastructure.



Now a little over 10 miles in length, the flow began a northeastward trek from the volcano’s Pu‘u O‘o vent on June 27.

“The lava flow activity taking place near Puna is an isolated event occurring in a rural, residential area on Hawaii Island’s eastern coastline,” Ross Birch, the executive director for the Big Island Visitors Bureau, said in a Sept. 10 statement. “There is no reason at this time for travelers, who may already be on or headed to Hawaii Island, to alter their vacation plans.”

According to the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) Hawaii Volcano Observatory, the flow was less than a half-mile from the Kaohe Homesteads housing development on Sept. 11 and progressing at a rate of about 460 yards per day since Sept. 6.

On Sept. 10, the USGS projected the flow could reach the Pahoa Village road, the main route linking the small town of Pahoa with the larger Big Island community of Hilo, in 14 to 16 days “if lava is not further confined within the cracks and down-dropped blocks within the East Rift Zone of Kīlauea volcano.”

“We continue to be in touch with Civil Defense and other government agencies who are closely monitoring the flow for regular updates,” Birch added in his statement.

For daily lava flow updates from the USGS, visit hvo.wr.usgs.gov/activity/kilaueastatus.php.
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