A lava flow from the volcano Kilauea is slowly spreading towards a village since late June. Now, a new opening is threatening to destroy a town of 1,000 called Pahoa. Kilauea is the world’s newest volcano and it’s been erupting since 1983. Unfortunately, the Kilauea eruptions became a major concern in the area because lava flow started to destroy entire towns and villages!
Because of heavy lava flow, access to Pahoa was cut off by Hawaiian authorities. Pahoa is the region where most grocery stores, gas stations and hospitals are located.
Situation in the area is dire. According to the Los Angeles Times, the front of the lava flow is “35 feet wide and moves at 10 yards per hour.” If the lava movement keeps up, it could cross the Pahoa Village road, the town’s main street in just a couple of days. From there, lava could destroy major highways, particularly Highway 130, in a week or two.
Although a permanent road is being constructed and two unpaved paths have been built to prevent the lava flow from destroying the town further, the lava flow could isolate more than 9, 000 people in the lower Puna district within several weeks.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaii Volcano Observatory, fumes from the lava interacting with water could be “potentially lethal.” The fumes could reach as far as three-quarters of a mile “downwind populated areas.”
At this point, the lava flow is inconsistent, meaning; it speeds up and slows down. It also changes directions, making it hard to predict where it’s coming next. Schools in the village has been closed. There have been reports of looting in various parts of Pahoa.