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River of Molten Lava Threatens Hawaiian Homes


A river of burning lava is threatening to swallow up homes in Hawaii.

The flow of burning rock from the Kilauea volcano advanced overnight Wednesday, moving at a rate of 10 to 15 yards per hour. Residents in its path have been urged to leave the area as the river of fire moves closer.

The 2,000-degree river of molten rock is oozing closer to the town of Pahoa, already encroaching in the backyards of residents' homes.

"Pretty heartbreaking, it's pretty sad, yeah. We don't know what's going to happen from now on," resident Travis Okamoto said.

Dozens of homes, businesses and other structures are near the lava flow and residents are on a moment's notice to evacuate as the red hot rock closes in.

Sarah Williams' home is just 300 yards away from the fiery flow.

"It's totally devastating. I'm still hoping it doesn't come through this property," Williams said.

The stream from the Kilauea volcano has been inching toward the village of 1,000 people for weeks. It's traveled some 90 yards in the last 24 hours.

So far, it's only destroyed a garden shed and some metal materials. It also overran a cemetery on the edge of town.

Teams of scientists are monitoring the lava that's now less than a quarter mile from the town's main road.

Crews are building temporary access roads to protect Highway 130, a major artery travelled by as many as 10,000 cars a day.

As a precaution, city workers are clipping power lines as a number of methane explosions have been reported.

Meanwhile, tires smoldering in a rubbish heap have officials worried about air quality.

Chemists are checking the air to make sure it's safe to breathe.

The National Guard has been called up on Thursday to assist with patrolling road blocks.

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