Hawaiians on alert as lava closes in on homes

Video: The volcano erupted way back in June, with the lava flow moving toward town in fits and starts for months

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The Independent US

Resident on Hawaii's Big Island are preparing for a possible evacuation this week as a lava flow steadily closes in on homes in Pahoa.

Pahoa is the largest town in the rural region of Puna on the Big Island of Hawaii and on Sunday authorities said the lava flow had moved 250 yards since Saturday morning and was going at the rate of about 10 to 15 yards per hour.

The flow is now just under a mile away from Pahoa Village Road, the main street in Pahoa. The flow began after an eruption from the Kilauea volcano back in June.

Darryl Oliveira, director of civil defense for Hawaii County, said on Sunday morning that the nearest home was 300 yards from the flow front. Residents in that home could see the lava and were ready to evacuate if or when the time came, Oliveira told reporters.

Oliviera added that around 50 to 60 structures were most likely to be impacted by a direct hit from the lava flow.

Authorities have already notified the relevant residents about the need to be prepared to evacuate, with most people aware of where they can move to in the event of the lava flow affecting their homes.

Kilauea volcano has been erupting regularly since 1983 but only in the last two years has the lava from Kilauea been flowing in a northeasterly direction towards Pahoa.

Additional reporting by AP.

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