Kilauea volcano lava stalls, but 50 homes ready to evacuate

Lava from Kilauea volcano has stalled just under 150 metres from the main road in Pahoa on the Big Island, officials said Saturday.

Lave threatens Hawaiin community of Pahoa on the Big Island

Lava flow burns vegetation near the town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii. The Kilauea volcano's lava is making a slow crawl toward a major road and threatens to isolate the community. (U.S. Geological Survey/Associated Press)

Lava from Kilauea volcano has stalled just under 150 metres from the main road in Pahoa on the Big Island, officials said Saturday.

Some lava has been breaking out along the sides of the flow, but it's moving slowly, said Darryl Oliveira, director of Hawaii County civil defence.

"At this point, there's very little activity taking place that's posing any increased threat to the residents or the community," Oliveira said.
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      Lava has been streaming down the volcano's flank toward the northeast since June.

      Last weekend, it crossed a country road on the edge of Pahoa, a small town of about 1,000 residents. It smothered part of a cemetery, toppled trees and burned a shed, some tires and grass.

      Authorities have alerted about 50 households they should be prepared to evacuate.

      Police investigate fake inspector

      The lava has since advanced more slowly, but county officials said it's still active.

      Burning from the lava was generating light to moderate amounts of smoke Saturday. Trade winds have been pushing the smoke toward the south and southwest.

      Opportunists pose another lava risk, Oliveira said. Someone posing as a government inspector approached a resident living within a blocked-off zone Friday and asked for access to a private property.

      No government official is going door-to-door to conduct damage assessments, Oliveira said. He urged residents to ask for identification if they are suspicious and to call police if they see questionable behaviour.

      Police plan to investigate the fake inspector, Oliveira said.


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