Lava Forces Hawaii Residents to Get Ready to Flee

(AP) -
A Hawaii Volcano Observatory geologist mapping the margin of the lava flow in the open field below Cemetery Road near the town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii.  (AP Photo/U.S. Geological Survey)
A Hawaii Volcano Observatory geologist mapping the margin of the lava flow in the open field below Cemetery Road near the town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii. (AP Photo/U.S. Geological Survey)

Dozens of Hawaii residents have been told they might have to evacuate because molten lava from a volcano is headed toward their homes.

The lava from Kilauea, one of the world’s most active volcanos, was about 100 yards from a home Monday morning, Hawaii County Civil Defense officials said.

After months of fitful advancement, the lava crossed Apaa Street on Sunday in Pahoa Village, considered a main town of the Big Island’s isolated and rural Puna district. It was getting dangerously close to Pahoa Village Road, which goes straight through downtown.

No one knows for sure if the lava flow will stop, change direction or hit homes. It is difficult to predict when the flow will stop or if it will start again from another vent.

In the 1990s, about 200 homes were destroyed by lava flows from Kilauea.

The last evacuations from the volcano came in 2011. One home was destroyed and others were threatened before the lava changed course.