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Red Cross to promote services to lava-threatened Pahoa


PAHOA, Hawaii >> American Red Cross and Hawaii island churches are taking advantage of a lull in Kilauea Volcano lava activity that had been threatening Pahoa by ramping up their outreach efforts.

Red Cross volunteers will visit about 100 Pahoa homes from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday reminding residents of the organization’s disaster relief services and providing counseling to anyone having difficulty dealing with the erratic nature of the slow-moving pahoe-hoe lava flow.

Since the lava made its way from the volcano to the edge of the small rural town last month, it’s overtaken a Buddhist cemetery, consumed a house and displaced about 1,700 area students from schools potentially in its path.

Hawaii County Civil Defense Director Darryl Oli-veira said Thursday there’s been little to no activity near the front of the flow. The closest activity is near the old geothermal well pad site near the Kaohe Homesteads subdivision, about 4 miles above Apaa Street, Oli-veira said.

Churches are using the break in lava flow activity to prepare for the potential impact.  

Gary Thomas, director of the Sure Foundation, said the church is teaming up with Convoy of Hope, a faith-based charity organization that provides humanitarian relief around the world.

The organization is sending the Sure Foundation a container of supplies that will be used in the shelters, Thomas said.  

Puna Baptist Church will be hosting a workshop Friday with the help of Southern Baptist Church Disaster Relief to train area preachers and pastors to assist children dealing with the disaster. 

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