Lava could reach Big Island subdivision in days - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Lava could reach Big Island subdivision in days

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Image source: USGS Image source: USGS
PUNA, BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Hawaii County Civil Defense crews are making the rounds in Puna.

They're warning people to make their exit plans, in case the lava reaches their homes.

Scientists now say lava could reach the Kaohe Homesteads subdivision in one week.

There's no evacuation order yet, but new pictures show steam from the the lava in a forest preserve, less than one mile away from a ranch.

Some livestock could be in harm's way.

Civil Defense Director Darryl Oliveira said, "the residents there have done a tremendous job preparing and planning for this over the last two weeks as we started talking about this. Many are relocating livestock."

Hawaiian Volcanoes Observatory Chief Scientist in Charge Jim Kauahikaua told residents they're prepared to elevate a watch to a warning, saying "We're going to move it up to warning just for the Kaohe Homesteads area."

Oliveira added, "it's not that it's posing an imminent threat. We just need to raise the level of concern again because it is continuing to move and there's no indication it's going to stop."

Resident Arminda White has started packing up just in case. She told us, "Just noticed the lava is getting closer and closer and we wanted to have ample time."

Right now, the immediate concern is for animals.

A website set up by the Good Shepherd Foundation called helppuna.org matches owners with others willing to board livestock, safely away from the lava.

Solomon Singer explained how it works, saying "It's like a craigslist for people in need of moving animals and also people with space."

Daily flights track eruption activity. After staying the course within cracks, a surface flow resumed today.

It's oozing slowly, but conditions can change, so authorities are urging residents to make plans in case evacuations become necessary.

You can get the latest updates and maps on the USGS Hawaiian Volcanoes Observatory website.

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