Residents Fear New Lava Flows Will Threaten Homes - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Residents Fear New Lava Flows Will Threaten Homes

Chelsea Cohen Chelsea Cohen
Mayor Harry Kim Mayor Harry Kim
Jim Kauahikaua Jim Kauahikaua
John Manliguis John Manliguis

By: Mari-Ela David

HAWAII VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK (KHNL) - First Cosme, then Hurricane Flossie, now the Island of Hawaii is bracing for a new potential threat from Mother Nature - Kilauea's latest lava flows.

Four flows emerged after a fissure erupted July 21st. The fourth flow started oozing Tuesday towards the northeast side of Hawaii Island.

Residents there fear the lava may be carving a path towards their homes.

"It's scary, it's lava it can take out your whole life and ruin everything," says Chelsea Cohen, a Pahoa resident.

"Truthfully this is scary, to know there is a potential of a problem occuring," says Mayor Harry Kim.

To guage the seriousness of that potential danger, Mayor Kim and Hawaii Island leaders held a briefing at Civil Defense on Thursday.

"There is no immediate threat in any of all of this. It has to change fundamentally the way it's erupted in order to go any distance much farther than it's already gone," explained lead scientist Jim Kauahikaua with the United States Geological Survey.

While there is no immediate threat, residents in Pahoa say the lava is so close, they can see an orange glow just above the canopy of trees.

"We can see the glow almost every night," says Pahoa resident John Manliguis.

"It was like a sunset making this beautiful pink orange-ish, but it was the volcano. Sometimes it gets like that but it was just crazy beautiful," says Cohen

Mayor Kim says it is too early to tell if the lava will actually reach homes.

"How long it will be before we know one way or the other, how long do we know before a scenario is established, I don't know. weeks? months? and all in between," he says.

Civil Defense says residents can rest assured this birth of new land is not taking a dangerous turn, at least for now.

To keep the public updated on Kilauea's activity and issue possible safety alerts, Civil Defense will launch a new website next Monday, http://www.lavainfo.us

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