Latest lava flow destroys four homes, sparks evacuation prep

Associated Press

PAHOA, Hawaii

Lava creeping across roadways destroyed four homes and left dozens of others in the shadow of Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano isolated Saturday, forcing more residents to plan for a possible evacuation.

Hawaii County Civil Defense said a fissure near the neighborhood of Lanipuna Gardens has been continuously erupting, releasing a slow-moving lava flow. If that lava threatens a nearby highway, more people will be told to prepare for voluntary evacuation.

On Friday, fast-moving lava crossed a road and isolated about 40 homes in a rural subdivision, forcing at least four people to be evacuated by county and National Guard helicopters.

The wide lava flow was “very active” Saturday morning and advancing at rates of up to 300 yards per hour, scientists from the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said.

Police, firefighters and National Guard troops were securing the area of the Big Island and stopping people from entering, Hawaii County Civil Defense reported. The homes were isolated in the area east of Lanipuna Gardens and Leilani Estates. Both neighborhoods had 40 structures, including 26 homes, decimated by lava over the past two weeks.

County officials have been encouraging residents in other parts of the district to prepare for potential evacuations.

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