The Kilauea lava flow has been on a four-month trip to Pahoa and has now arrived to wreak havoc on this Big Island community. Several residents as well as the Police were forced to evacuate as the lava flow entered the area and started destroying things.
Dozens of unarmed soldiers and airmen from the Hawaii Air and Army National Guard were to arrive in Pahoa town Wednesday to help deal with an expected onslaught of traffic and tourists drawn to the slow, molten advance that seems to have no end in sight, Hawaii County Civil Defense Administrator Darryl Oliveira said. The Kilauea lava flow is both dangerous and majestic, and everyone wants to see it.
The threat from the streaming lava — dubbed the June 27 flow for the date it started — kicked into higher gear over the weekend when it crossed Apaa Street in Pahoa and approached the post office.
Martin Cambra, a Hawaiian Beaches resident, said Tuesday’s destruction suddenly made months of threats real for him.
“It’s been a while since they said it first started flowing,” Cambra said. “I was kind of in shock myself. We all hoped it would slow down.”
Civil Defense had been preparing a statement that would allow to evacuate the area and has issued that statement. However, the evacuation has not been made mandatory, which may change soon as discussions on that are at a fevered pitch.
The Kilauea Volcano
The Kilauea Volcano has been erupting continuously since 1983. In the 1990s about 200 homes were destroyed by its lava flows. It is a huge attraction to both tourists and locals, as the continued eruptions are spectacular. However, sometimes the flows get to an area where people live and something has to be done.
The last evacuations from the volcano came in 2011. One home was destroyed and others were threatened before the lava changed course.
“Kilauea” means “spewing” or “much spreading” in Hawaiian, and for several weeks the lava has stopped and stalled, picked up speed and changed direction — a phenomenon that’s “likely to happen for the near future,” Orr said.
Photos Of The Kilauea Lava Flow Heading Into Pahoa
All photos from Hawaiian Volcano Observatory