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On June 27, a new vent opened inside Kilauea volcano and lava started flowing. The volcano, has been erupted for 31 years, but its lava is threatening the small city of Pahoa. Pahoa residents prepare to evacuate, as the lava makes its way through the city’s cemetery.
Earlier on Saturday, the lava poured through an inhabited forest outside the village of Pahoa, 20 miles southwest of Hilo. The lava then crossed the Apa’a Road threatening around 55 buildings, only to flow through a cemetery on Sunday evening.
Right now, the lava flow front is moving at 10 yards per hour and is 35 feet wide. If it continues at this speed rate, it is going to cross the Pahoa Village Road which is the village’s main street, in a couple of days. In a week or two, it would cover Highway 130.
If the lava crosses the only highway in the lower Puna district, it would isolate around 9,000 who are living there. This is why measures have been taken for evacuation to begin. Escape roads have been built and the evacuation notice was issued by the Hawaii County Civil Defense Director on Saturday. The director, Darryl Oliviera, released the notice for about 50 residents who are nearest to the front of the flow. He revealed that the people should be prepared for evacuation.
The current timelines are based on the current flow rates, and that could change. That could speed things up, as well as it could slow things down. The key is that we will be watching the flow 24/7.
Another important concern, is electricity poles being destroyed by the lava. Pahoa residents prepare to evacuate and the scientists from the Hawaii Volcanoes Observatory have developed an innovative strategy to keep the power going in the city. The poles are wrapped in insulated foil and then an 18-foot-high ring of fencing is placed around them. The fence is then filled with cinders and rock, creating great insulation.
Pahoa residents prepare to evacuate, but they are calm. Robert Shioshita, Pahoa resident, said:
I know how the other people feel because I’m in it this time. No can do nothing. It hurts, but it’s Pele’s land and she’s reclaiming.
Pele is the Hawaiian deity of Kilauea.