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Lava Inches Toward Hawaii Homes

This photo provided by the U.S. Geological Survey shows the lava flow front of from an eruption that began the June 27, as the front remains active and continues to advance towards the northeast threatening the town of Pahoa on Hawaii's Big Island, Oct. 26, 2014.

A 50-meter-wide river of lava is creeping down a mountainside in the U.S. island state of Hawaii, threatening to scorch homes directly in its path.

Geologists say the front of the flow is 70 meters from the town of Pahoa and could reach it within the next day.

The village's roughly 1,000 residents have fled what officials said is the "inevitable" arrival of the chest-high, 2,000 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.