REM Hawaii National Guard deploys Troops as Lava Flow extends further
The Hawaii National Guard is sending troops to a rural Hawaii town as lava moves slowly towards a main road and threatens to further separate the community. According to Hawaii County Civil Defense Director Darryl Oliveira, about 83 troops to Pahoa were deployed by the National Guard on Thursday to provide help and security to going-to-be-affected residents.
Since June, lava from a vent at Kilauea volcano has been sliding northeast toward the ocean. Scientists said last month that it was two weeks away from striking the main road in Pahoa, a town of about 950 residents.
According to Pahoa residents, the lava will reshape the community yard by yard as it moves slowly toward the ocean.
So far, a shed and a lot of vegetation have been burned by the lava. Fortunately, no damage has been caused to homes so far.
Residents have been given time to pack their valuables and get out of the way. But it has been painful for those who think that the lava might change the direction and not head to them. It is worrisome for those who have not been able to figure out how they are going to manage once the lava blocks the town's only roads.
At present, business is good because more locals and tourists have been streaming into town with an expectation to get a glimpse of the molten rock.
Officials said that at this point, 10 to 15 homes fall in the direct path of the lava's leading edge, which measures about 60m across.
According to authorities, the lava could take down power poles and leave residents without electricity. One pole was already surrounded by lava, but still stands, according a spokeswoman, for the local utility.
Since 1983, Kilauea has erupted continuously from its Pu'u O'o vent, with the latest flow starting on June 27.
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