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Lava flow front near Pahoa’s police, fire stations not budging

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While no lava flow advancement was spotted during an overflight of the Pahoa area Wednesday morning, numerous breakout areas are continuing to take shape.

“Right now, we appear to be in a bit of a lull with any kind of advancement or threat to the community. But there’s still evidence that lava is making its way towards the flow front,” said Hawaii County Civil Defense Director Darryl Oliveira.

The leading edge or front of the furthest down slope flow area, which has traveled about 14 miles from Kilauea Volcano’s Puu Oo vent, was situated about 0.36 miles from Highway 130 to the west or mauka of the Pahoa’s police and fire stations. The flow front has not budged from that area for more than a week.  

The lava flow, which got underway in June, has started and stopped on many occasions since it first threatened the area in August before stopping about 480 feet from Pahoa Village Road. It has oozed across a street, consumed a Buddhist cemetery, destroyed multiple structures and set a home on fire in the rural community near Hawaii island’s eastern tip. 

The so-called June 27 lava flow, which has been a source of frustration and a challenge for many area residents, also prompted the relocation of more than a 1,000 local students and millions of taxpayers’ dollars spent on road construction and renovation in preparation for a potentially slow-moving disaster.

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