Lava flow from the Kilauea volcano that has been creeping toward inhabited areas of Hawaii’s Big Island for months is now just 100 yards (meters) from the nearest residential property, authorities said on Monday.
Residents in the path of the lava have been placed on alert for possible evacuation, the County of Hawaii said in a civil defense alert.
The lava flow, which first bubbled out of the continuously erupting volcano on June 27, had come to a standstill in late September, but resumed its slow crawl forward several weeks ago.
The leading edge of the flow is now heading toward Pahoa village, a historic former sugar plantation consisting of small shops and homes with a population of about 800 people.
The civil defense message said the lava was averaging about 10 to 15 yards an hour and that authorities would be monitoring it around the clock. The leading edge is large enough to destroy homes in its path.
The Kilauea volcano has erupted from its Pu’u O’o vent since 1983. The last home destroyed by lava on the Big Island was in the Royal Gardens subdivision in Kalapana in 2012, according to the Civil Defense agency.
(Reporting by Malia Mattoch McManus and Dan Whitcomb; Writing by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Peter Cooney)
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