HONOLULU (AP) — Lava from an active volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island slowed slightly but still stayed on track to hit a shopping center in the small town of Pahoa below it.
The molten rock was 1,200 to 1,300 yards away from the edge of Pahoa Marketplace on Thursday and had advanced about 165 yards from the previous day, said Darryl Oliveira, Hawaii County civil defense administrator.
“We’re just watching the activity on the flow going forward and trying to remain optimistic that we might see a slow down or pause or stall,” Oliveira said.
Lava from Kilauea Volcano is crossing flatter terrain, which may have partly caused the slackening.
Gov. David Ige visited the community Thursday, meeting with impacted residents and teachers and taking an aerial tour of the flow.
“I am amazed at the attitude of the citizens of Pahoa,” Ige told reporters late Thursday. “They are definitely upbeat; the community has really drawn together to work through this disaster.”
During his visit, Ige received an update from Oliveira and took a helicopter tour of the lava flow, which he says changed his perspective on the situation.