Lava flow stalls just 700 yards away from Pahoa Shopping Center

Lava flow stalls just 700 yards away from Pahoa Shopping Center

Lava flow from the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii stalled and hardened merely 700 yards away from the Pahoa Shopping Center - the island's biggest shopping precinct.

Hawaii County Civil Defense officials were expecting the flowing lava to reach the shopping center on or around Christmas, December 25.

Many locals believe it was a Christmas miracle that stalled flowing lava before it could reach the shopping center. The supposed miracle allowed merchants to keep their stores open and shoppers to make purchases for Christmas.

Becky Petersen, the owner of clothing boutique Jungle Love in the Pahoa Shopping Center, said, "Somebody told me it's a Christmas miracle. I don't know what it is. I know it's a real blessing."

However, Oliveira added that while stalled lava provided them with some relief, they were not completely out of potential danger. Though the lava stalled and hardened before reaching the shopping center, shopkeepers and other in the area have started executing emergency plans.

A majority of the stores are ready to evacuate their employees and remove inventory. Nearby gas station has already drained the pumps of gas and filled them with a blend of water and firefighter foam.

This is not the first time this year when Pahoa has been spared destruction from noxious flowing lava. In November, a different branch of lava from the same volcano stalled just before reaching a main road that would have left several residents stranded. Kilauea Volcano has been active since 1983.

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