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Lava Flow Threatens Hawaii Homes

September 25, 1987|United Press International

VOLCANO, Hawaii — A lava flow from Kilauea volcano bore down on homes in a Hawaii island housing area Thursday, forcing authorities to evacuate several families and put other residents on alert.

"Unless there is a dramatic change over the next hour or so, we're going to lose a home in Royal Gardens" housing area, said Harry Kim, Hawaii island Civil Defense director.

The slow-moving, 300-foot-long flow entered the southeastern part of Royal Gardens on the southeastern coast of Hawaii island. It was within 10 yards of the unoccupied one-story home, Kim said.

Residents of five other homes off the same street along the housing area's boundary were ordered to evacuate or had already done so voluntarily, Kim said.

The molten river cascaded down from a vent four miles upslope and split into two fingers, one of which was bearing down on the home, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory spokesman Reggie Okamura said.

The housing area has been invaded repeatedly by lava flows since the Kilauea eruption began Jan. 3, 1983. The eruption has claimed 32 homes and caused millions of dollars in damage.

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