Lava warning for residents on Hawaii's Big Island

Posted at 5:42 PM, Sep 04, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-12 11:02:30-04

HONOLULU, Hawaii (AP) — The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory has issued a warning to a rural community less than a mile from lava flowing out of a volcano on Hawaii's Big Island.

Observatory scientists said Thursday lava could reach the Kaohe Homesteads in five to seven days if it continues advancing through cracks in the earth.

Hawaii County Civil Defense Administrator Darryl Oliveira says the agency has not yet ordered an evacuation. But Mayor Billy Kenoi is declaring an emergency, which will allow authorities to restrict access to roadways so residents can leave safely if an evacuation becomes necessary.

The observatory says the lava from the from the Kilauea (kih-luh-WAY'-uh) volcano has been advancing about 800 feet per day since July 10.

Kilauea has been continuously erupting since 1983. The lava normally doesn't approach homes, but it has wiped out neighborhoods in the past.