As lava activity slows, Pahoa emergency shelter set to close soon

As lava activity slows, Pahoa emergency shelter set to close soon
The flow from fissure no. 8 has stopped, but emissions continue. (Image: USGS)

PAHOA, BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - One of the emergency shelters that was available for lava evacuees in set to close in September, Hawaii County officials announced Wednesday.

The Pahoa emergency shelter opened May 3, the day the eruption started in lower Puna, and at one point housed more than 550 evacuees.

But county officials said it will close at noon on Sept. 17 as lava activity has been slowing down in recent weeks.

About 45 people still live there, but the county is working with the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, FEMA and several other agencies to help the remaining evacuees.

Officials said the Pahoa shelter is the longest-running emergency shelter in the state's history. By Sept. 17, it will have been open 138 days.

The other shelter in Keeau closed last week.

Though the lava activity has been quiet recently, scientists are still hesitant to say whether the eruption has officially ended.

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