By: Maria Vargas
In the weekend of October 24th – 26th lava from Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano started spreading, causing local authorities and residents to prepare for possible evacuation. According to the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, lava flow was falling towards a small village of Pahoa in the night of October 26th and has already advanced through the Pahoa cemetery.
The volcanic flow is moving at a rate of 15 to 20 yards per hour and shows no signs of stopping any time soon. Residents of Pahoa have not been ordered to evacuate yet, but emergency responders were going house to house to inform the residents about the flow condition and possible evacuation plans. The Red Cross also got involved by opening an emergency shelter in the nearby town of Keaau.
On the night of October 26th, lava flow was just 600 yards from Pahoa Village Road, which caused officials to close a portion of the road. Scientist worry that smoke conditions will burn through grass and vegetation and they also worry about methane explosions that have been observed in the lava flow. The orange edges of the lava flow can reach temperatures higher than 1,650 degrees Fahrenheit. Ever since, 1983 Kilauea has been spilling lava onto surrounding buildings near Puna’s region. Scientist are continuing to monitor the volcanic activity and flow from ground and from a flight over the area as well.