On September 4th, a state of emergency was issued for Kilauea, with residents to the north east of the volcano being urged to finalize evacuation plans. Kilauea is one of, if not the, most active volcanoes on Earth. Sat above the Hawaiian mantle plume, it has been in a constant state of eruption since January 3rd 1983!
On June 27th this year, a new lava flow began from the Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater and has been advancing steadily in an east north easterly direction heading towards the Kaohe Homesteads subdivision. As of yesterday evening the front of the flow was roughly 13.2 km (8.2 miles) from the vent and 1.4 km (0.9 miles) from the eastern boundary of the Wao Kele o Puna forest reserve.
Sine early July the flow has been pushing forward roughly 800 feet per day and is believed to able to reach the residential area in the next few days.
When the alert was issued, Mayor Billy Kenoi added “We are taking this step to ensure our residents have time to prepare their families, their pets and their livestock for a safe and orderly evacuation from Kaohe in the event the flow continues to advance.”
Figure 1. Map highlighting lava flow http://earthsky.org/earth/state-of-emergency-issued-for-hawaiis-kilauea-volcano Accessed 07/0914