National Guard Arrives in Hawaii Town Threatened by Lava from Kilauea Volcano

1 OF 4. A construction crew tries to contain the lava flow from Mount Kilauea in Pahoa, Hawaii October 29, 2014. (PHOTO CREDIT: Reuters/Marco Garcia)
1 OF 4. A construction crew tries to contain the lava flow from Mount Kilauea in Pahoa, Hawaii October 29, 2014. (PHOTO CREDIT: Reuters/Marco Garcia)

National Guard troops arrived in a Hawaii town threatened by a slow-moving river of molten lava on Thursday, and were greeted with cheers by residents of the Big Island community where they are to provide security as the volcanic flow advances.

The lava flow from the Kilauea volcano has been slithering toward the Big Island village of Pahoa for weeks, although it slowed to a turtle’s pace on Thursday and at last watch had advanced only a few feet (meters) over several hours, said Darryl Oliveira, director of Hawaii County Civil Defense.

“The activity on the flow front is very inactive, very sluggish,” Oliveira told reporters.

The lava threatens to destroy homes and cut off a road and a highway through Pahoa, but officials have not offered any predictions on when exactly it could bisect the town of about 800 residents at the site of an old sugar plantation.

No homes have been destroyed so far, and a finger of lava that threatens one house on the edge of town has not crept closer to it since Wednesday night, Oliveira said.

Some 83 National Guard troops arrived on Thursday in the community, where some residents have expressed concern about potential looters targeting evacuated homes. The troops, who are at checkpoints in town, were cheered by residents who waved and walked up to start conversations.

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SOURCE: Reuters
Karin Stanton

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