Pahoa

Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon

Nearly a year ago, lava from Kīlauea started flowing towards the Big Island town of Pāhoa. The lava has since cooled, but has forever changed the landscape of the small town. And as Hawaii Public Radio’s Molly Solomon reports, nowhere is that more apparent than at the Pāhoa Japanese Cemetery.

Malama Market
Malama Market

It’s been three months since Pāhoa’s Mālama Market closed its doors. Back in December, lava crept within a couple hundred yards of the store. But now, with the lava stalled, the supermarket has reopened. HPR’s Molly Solomon reports.

USGS
USGS

Lava flowing from Kīlauea’s Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō Vent has left the lower Puna community in a state of limbo. The slow moving disaster has prompted one researcher to look at how residents are coping with the flow. HPR’s Molly Solomon spoke with him and has this report.

hvo.wr.usgs.gov
hvo.wr.usgs.gov

In Pāhoa, the new finger of lava continues to move downhill at a rate of around 250 yards a day.  Wet conditions have reduced smoke pollution and the risk of brushfires started by the lava.

USGS
USGS

UPDATE: Malama Market, the grocery store at Pāhoa Marketplace, announced it plans to evacuate and close its doors by Thursday, December 18th at 6 p.m. The store, which opened its Pāhoa branch in 2005, will begin the process of packing up the shop on Tuesday.

The lava flow in Pāhoa on the Big Island has picked up speed again, moving about 300 yards since yesterday. It’s now about 1.2 miles from the intersection of Pāhoa Village Road and Highway 130.

Sherry Bracken
Sherry Bracken

  

  The lava front closest to Pahoa Village has now stalled and cooled, with breakouts around 3 1/2 miles upslope.  With no immediate threat to homes or businesses, Hawaii County officials have reopened Pahoa Village Road.  But starting last August, local residents had to prepare for lava inundation.  Many moved.  Every family has their story, and HPR's Sherry Bracken has one.

hvo.wr.usgs.gov
hvo.wr.usgs.gov

Hawaii County Civil Defense personnel flew over the active lava flow Tuesday afternoon and reported that active lava breakouts are around 3.3 miles above Apa'a Street.  The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory has done a thermal assessment of the lower part of the lava flow sitting outside Pahoa and say the flow closest to Pahoa Village is no longer active and has cooled.  But they warn that the lava flow could resume its activity. 

hvo.wr.usgs.gov
hvo.wr.usgs.gov

As lava continues to move slowly towards Pahoa, costs are increasing for Hawaii County, including those for emergency services and road construction.  But there's another cost:  the county's long term potential for revenue.  HPR's Sherry Bracken has the story. 

hvo.wr.usgs.gov
hvo.wr.usgs.gov

  As lava continues to threaten Pāhoa Village, Hawai'i County is facing increased costs to continue to provide access and services to lower Puna.  HPR's Sherry Bracken talked about that with Mayor Billy Kenoi.

www.hawaiicounty.gov
www.hawaiicounty.gov

  Breakouts from the main lava flow approaching Pahoa are continuing in three areas.  While the front itself remains stalled, its future path remains uncertain.  When it became clear in August that lava from Pu'u 'O'o Vent was heading towards Pahoa Village, it surprised many residents.  But local geologists were not shocked, including one who spoke with HPR's Sherry Bracken.

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