Molten Lava of Hawaii's Big Island moves closer to Pahoa Marketplace
On Thursday, Hawaii County Civil Defense said the lava from an active volcano, Kilauea on Hawaii's Big Island has slowed slightly but stayed on track to hit a shopping center in the small town of Pahoa.
According to Darryl Oliveira, Hawaii County civil defense administrator, the molten rock was 1,200 to 1,300 yards away from the edge of Pahoa Marketplace on Thursday and had advanced about 165 yards from the previous day.
Oliveira said county officials were working closely with the merchants to prepare for a possible evacuation. The service station has begun emptying its gasoline tanks and replacing the fuel with water and fire-retardant foam and Malama Market has announced plans to close on Thursday.
Oliveira said, "We're just watching the activity on the flow going forward and trying to remain optimistic that we might see a slow down or pause or stall".
Governor, David Ige traveled to the Big Island for the first time to get a first-hand look at the lava and the concerns surrounding it. During his visit, Ige received an update from Oliveira and took a helicopter tour of the lava flow.
In a morning helicopter flight, Oliveira caught a view of the lava before sunrise and said it was easy to see the breaks and cracks in the partially hardened.
He joined a flyover, met civil defense officials and visited cooled lava at the Pahoa Transfer Station. He also visited Keaau High School to speak with students and teachers, as well as faculty from nearby Keonepoko and Pahoa schools.
He met merchants at Pahoa Marketplace who have spent the past couple of days, packing up and getting ready for the lava's arrival. He convinced that he would push to get maximum assistance from the federal government, and would look at what services and assistance the state could provide.
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