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Officials ask that drivers not stop on reopened Pahoa Village Road

  • USGS / HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY
    A geologist takes a sample of molten lava Monday and quenches it in a bucket of cold water to "freeze" the crystalline structure.
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Hawaii County officials planned to re-open a section of Pahoa’s main road at noon Wednesday with police and Hawaii National Guard troops in the area to make sure drivers don’t stop to get a look at hardened lava that came within 500 feet of the road.

"Don’t stop and try to take a picture … there’s not much to see there," said Hawaii County Civil Defense administrator Darryl Oliveira.

Police and National Guard soldiers will ensure that drivers don’t stop and disrupt traffic, or trespass onto homeowner’s private property, Oliveira said.

The "view plane" of the hardened lava from Kilauea Volcano is limited and on private property, he said.

Lava from Kilauea Volcano came within 500 feet of Pahoa Village Road, forcing the closure of Pahoa’s main road between Apaa Street and Post Office Road.

Officials from the county, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory and the University of Hawaii-Hilo’s geology program plan to meet again next week to discuss creating a lava viewing area "sometime in the near future" near the waste and recycling transfer station on Pahoa Village Road, Oliveira said. The viewing area would include an educational component, he said. 

Lava continued to break out about 3.2 miles upslope of Apaa Street Wednesday, Oliveira said, but posed no immediate threat.

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