Since 1983, Mount Kilauea, Hawaii’s youngest volcano, has been active. On October 29 at 6:30 p.m. a flow of lava which began in June started to threaten the community of Pahoa on the Island of Hawai’i.
On June 27, lava began to ooze from the volcano, but was never moving in the direction of any civilization. For weeks it was moving at a slow speed, but stopped its main flow on October 30. However, a side-stream broke off the day before and had been heading straight to the community of Pahoa. On November 10, the lava reached and engulfed its first home.
“The lava spread out and ignited the house before noon local time,” U.S. Geological Survey spokeswoman Janet Baab told CNN. “There are no other homes in imminent danger. We are watching the flow closely and continue to monitor it.”
The residents of the house had evacuated days before, along with at least a dozen other families in the area under the order of Hawaii County Civil Defense Director, Darryl Oliveira. No one was injured and after 45 minutes the house had burned down.
“The home’s nearest neighbor is about a half-mile away,” Oliveira said in an interview with DailyAstorian.com. “A garage and barn structure near the destroyed home could also burn down soon.”
The slow moving lava has been traveling approximately 820 feet every day, because of this, anyone who was in danger of the lava flow has already moved out of its path. At this time, it is not known what other damage the lava will do, but it is apparent that it cannot be stopped.
“We are making arrangements to provide a means of closure to the effected family,” Oliveira said. “However, there will be not attempts to extinguish fires burning homes, only to contain them to make sure they do not spread.”