U.S.

Residents Evacuate As Lava Creeps Toward Hawaiian Village

Hawaii residents near the village of Pahoa are preparing to evacuate as the lava flow spewing from the Kilauea volcano creeps closer to their homes.

Residents Evacuate As Lava Creeps Toward Hawaiian Village
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Hawaii residents near the village of Pahoa on Hawaii's Big Island are preparing to evacuate as the lava flow spewing from the Kilauea volcano continues to creep closer to their homes. 

The U.S. Geological Survey has been closely monitoring the progress of the red-hot morphing lava since the Kilauea volcano erupted in June. (Video via Sky News)

And while its rate of growth has been inconsistent, Hawaiian officials say it continued to edge closer to Pahoa Monday — about 70 yards from the nearest home. (Video via NBC)

ABC: "It's really the geography that controls where this lava goes. Sometimes speeding up, sometimes it's slowing down but it's always a threat. ... For some of the 10,000 of people affected, evacuations could be just days away."

As of Tuesday, an "evacuation advisory" was put in place but authorities still haven't forced people to leave. The director of the Hawaii County Civil Defense says this gives residents a chance to put things in order before their homes are hit.

HAWAII COUNTY CIVIL DEFENSE DIRECTOR DARRYL OLIVEIRA VIA KGMB: "It's an opportunity for them to document what's happening on their property for insurance purposes or for record keeping, as well as it's closure for many of the residents. This is their home. This is maybe a home for many generations in their families."

However, that eased stance might not last for much longer. KHNL spoke to a USGS scientist with the Hawaii Volcano Observatory who says methane explosions are happening more frequently, making the area unsafe.

Still, a Hawaii County Civil Defense worker told KHON most people have already played it safe and "moved out of their homes" and "there's only a few people left" in the area.

In doing so, there's been an unfortunate side effect. CNN reports, with no one living inside, some of those homes in the small village have been burglarized.