Lava from erupting Kilauea volcano approaches Hawaiian town

The Kilauea volcano in Hawaii has been erupting continuously since 1983

Lava oozing out of a volcano towards homes in a small town in Hawaii sparked an evacuation warning yesterday.

Kilauea volcano, near the town of Pahoa, has been erupting continuously for 30 years. Yesterday, reports emerged that waves of bubbling molten rock were inching closer to the homes of around 1,000 people.

An evacuation could be enforced in the next three to five days.

Lava crossed a road on the edge of the town at 3.50am yesterday.

Darryl Oliveira, director of civil defence for Hawaii County, said: "This is all something we've been preparing for and hoping wouldn't have to happen."

Hazardous or flammable materials in the lava's path would also trigger a mandatory evacuation due to potentially fatal fumes and fires, Mr Oliveira said.

The hot lava, at around 1100 degrees Celsius, is about 1,000m from the town's main street, Pahoa Village Road, and the flow is currently moving north-east at about 10 yards an hour.

 

It is not known when it will reach the village road as the flow has been moving unpredictably, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologist Matt Patrick said.

AP723844746690.jpg The stretch of lava, which is anything from 160 to 230 ft wide, was generating smoke but Mr Oliveira said the wind was blowing fumes over unpopulated areas.

Kilauea has been erupting continuously since 1983 and lava has only flowed north-east over the past two years.

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