Lava strike sets House on Fire in Hawaii Town

Lava strike sets House on Fire in Hawaii Town

A house was set in flames on Monday in a rural Hawaii town after it encountered a stream of lava. The house was hit by the molten rock just before noon, said Hawaii County Civil Defense Director Darryl Oliveira.

The residence in Pahoa, the largest town in Big Island's isolated and mostly agricultural Puna district, was already left by the home's renters. According to Oliveira, the 1,100-square-foot-house burnt down in 45 minutes.

A small corrugated steel storage shed on the property was also burnt by lava earlier in the day. A garage or barn structure is still not touched by the lava on the property, but chances are high that it would also become the victim of the lava.

The nearest neighbor of the home is about a half-mile away, said Oliveira. In June, the lava from Kilauea volcano oozed out from a vent and entered Pahoa on October 26. Ever since its entry took place in Pahoa, part of a cemetery has been smothered and a garden shed has been burnt down. Other things being burnt by the lava are tires, some metal materials and vegetation.

To watch the house burn, a relative of the home's owners, who lives on the mainland, arrived at the site. Reports of Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologists revealed that a breakout lava flow crossed Apaa Road Sunday morning and separated into three lobes. According to Hawaii County's report on Monday, one breakout of lava was seen to move very close to the home's garage.

Efforts are being currently made by the crews to make available alternate routes when lava hits Highway 130, which is considered a lifeline for Puna district. Many residents have already moved to safe places or are ready to leave whenever the need emerges.

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