Lava Threatening Village Devours First Home; many now evacuating in Hawaii

A river of lava from a Hawaii volcano has devoured its first residential property in a community, as homeowners flee the area.

Dozens of residents in Pahoa Village on the Big Island are evacuating as the tide of fiery magma from Kilauea advances on their houses.

Hawaii County Civil Defence said in an online update on Tuesday: “The flow front … has entered a private residential property.”

The lava flow from the Kalauea Volcano is seen near the village of Pahoa, Hawaii

The 2,000-degree river of molten rock crackled and smoked as it reached the two-storey structure.

A primary school in the stream’s projected path will be closed from Wednesday.

Officials have also made arrangements for homeowners to watch the slow-motion disaster to “provide for a means of closure”.

Civil defence director Darryl Oliveira added: “You can only imagine the despair they’re going through.”

He said residents would be allowed into the restricted area to take photos and video of their houses for insurance purposes.

The lava lobe has been snaking through unoccupied land for weeks, moving at an average speed of 16ft to 32ft per hour.

Those living downslope are currently under an evacuation advisory.

Most residents have left or made arrangements to go elsewhere.

Mr Oliveira said he does not expect to have to issue a mandatory evacuation order.

Tiffany Edwards Hunt, a small business owner, said: “We’re a resilient community, so we’ll get through this.

“But as a mom, I’m uneasy, anxious and fearful.”

Scientists began warning the public about the lava in August, two months after the current eruption.

In the 1990s, about 200 homes were destroyed by lava flows from Kilauea.

The last evacuations from the volcano came three years ago.

One home was destroyed and others were threatened before the lava changed course.

Kilauea volcano, one of the world’s most active, has been erupting continuously since 1983.

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2 responses to “Lava Threatening Village Devours First Home; many now evacuating in Hawaii”

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