HONOLULU (KHON2) — As the lava at Mauna Loa inches toward Daniel K. Inouye Highway, scientists said they don’t know if or when it will reach the road.

It has now been nine days since the eruption began in the middle of the night.

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We drove down to Ocean View to talk to residents about what it was like.

Colette Tavares, an Ocean View resident said, “At around 12:30 my daughter came into the room and said ‘Mom! Mauna Loa is erupting’ and I was kind of in disbelief and I was like ‘no’ and she says ‘yes everyone is posting the glow’ and she took me to her room and there it was, I could see the glow and then after that it was very unnerving not knowing the whole uncertainty of not knowing where that lava was headed which direction.”

Looking up mauka at the western flank of Mauna Loa gives you a good idea of how steep this mountain really is. In fact, it would take mere hours for a lava flow to reach populated areas. Meanwhile, in the northeast rift zone, we’re seeing that lava move at mere feet per hour.

“Some people started leaving and evacuating because they weren’t sure what was happening,” explained Tavares.

Tension grew as videos filmed from Kona popped up online of fingers of lava spilling over the summit to the west of the world’s largest volcano.

Andria Ellis, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Geophysicist said, “Lava was in the caldera of Mauna Loa that’s where it started, and there was a little bit that went to the northwest but we really haven’t had an opportunity to get our geologist on the ground. There were fissures we don’t know how many yet.”

Even though no evacuations were ordered traffic backed up on Mamalahoa Highway, the only way in and out of many of these communities.

Talmadge Magno, Hawaii County Civil Defense said, “People were stopping at gas stations backing up the traffic into the roadway so there was jams like that “ 

Fortunately, the lava didn’t advance further, but it’s a real-world scenario for the future of Hawaii County Civil Defense, which warns against residents panicking.

Magno said, “The flow is going to be like a ribbon, so it’s not like that whole place is going to be inundated.” 

Magno said, “We have the inundation zones mapped from HVO and if it was going down that area we would message that and so our ground forces police fire public works we would be taking actions responding to the inundation zones.”

For now, a sigh of relief for residents

Tavares said, “thank God it’s all good.”

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Once again there is no current threat to Ocean View or the Kau district. The danger remains here as we sit in the middle of the 1-and-a-half miles between the end of the lava flow and the highway.