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Hawaii Lava Threatens Town Center

  • VOA News

A 50-meter-wide river of lava has crossed one residential property and is now headed for the main road in a seaside town on the U.S. island state of Hawaii.

Officials said Wednesday the molten stream is about 250 meters from Pahoa Village Road, the main street through the town.

The flow from Kilauea volcano entered a private property and burned down a garden shed Tuesday. It is now headed for the main commercial district of Pahoa, threatening dozens of homes and businesses.

The village's roughly 1,000 residents have fled what officials said is the "inevitable" arrival of the chest-high, 900 degree molten stream bubbling from the Kilauea volcano. Authorities have told thousands more to prepare for evacuation.

The Red Cross said it is opening a shelter for residents who are at risk. The historic former sugar plantation with small shops and homes is on Hawaii's "Big Island," the largest of the eight main islands that make up the Pacific U.S. state.

The flow threatening the town began June 27, but Kilauea Volcano has been erupting continuously since 1983.