Hawaiians Ready to Bolt as Lava Creeps Nearer

Flow from Kilauea volcano moving 30-45 feet per hour
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Oct 27, 2014 7:19 AM CDT
This Oct. 22, 2014, photo provided by the US Geological Survey shows a vertical view of the lava upslope from the flow front covering a dirt road.   (AP Photo/US Geological Survey)
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(Newser) – Lava from a Hawaiian volcano is headed toward homes and businesses, and residents on Hawaii's Big Island are under instructions to be ready to evacuate by tomorrow. The molten lava from the Kilauea volcano is moving at about 30 to 45 feet per hour, the AP reports. During the day yesterday, it traveled some 500 feet, KHON reports. As of this morning, the closest home is only a few hundred yards away, the AP reports, but KHON notes that the flow's movement has been tough to predict; a report from last night local time said it was moving considerably faster. The problem has been a long time coming: Kilauea has been erupting since 1983; the flow in question has been threatening the town of Pahoa for weeks.

On the way toward the Pahoa area, lava has traveled through a cemetery, covering many graves but leaving at least one visible over the flow, says civil defense official Darryl Oliveira. Some 50 to 60 local structures are likely to be hit by the lava, the official says, and colleagues have been going door to door with evacuation instructions. The Red Cross is setting up a shelter, but Oliveira says most people have other places they can stay. Updates are available with the USGS, which notes that the lava has divided into two "fingers."

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