New evacuations ordered as fast-flowing Hawaii lava blocks major volcano escape route

USA TODAY | 5/30/2018 | Trevor Hughes
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Fast-moving lava flows on Hawaii’s Big Island from the Kilauea volcano have blocked one major evacuation route and are headed toward the crossroads of another, prompting a new round of evacuations for rural neighborhoods in the area.

Authorities going door to door in the early-morning hours Wednesday called for emergency evacuations in the Kapoho, Beach Lots and Vacationland areas, about 35 miles from Hilo, the island’s biggest city.

Lava - Highway - Tuesday - Afternoon - Intersection

The lava crossed Highway 132 on Tuesday afternoon and was moving diagonally toward an intersection known as Four Corners, where Highways 132 and 137 cross near the coast.

Both highways are the primary evacuation routes for the area, raising concerns that authorities might have to bulldoze an emergency route through the jungle connecting several existing small roads. They’ve also made plans for helicopter evacuations using military aircraft.

Hawaii - Police - Department - Evacuation - Noni

"The Hawaii Police Department has ordered a mandatory evacuation for Noni Farms Road and Hale Kamahina Rd off of Hwy 132, around the 5 mile marker due to lava inundation," police said early Wednesday morning. "This notice affects all residents and businesses in Hwy 132 at the 5 mile marker and immediate surrounding area. Evacuees may seek shelter at the Pahoa Community Center or the Keaau Community Shelter."

It wasn't immediately clear how many people were ordered to leave in the newest round of evacuations, but about 2,000 had already been barred from their homes. Kilauea has been erupting since 1983 with only occasional pauses of quiet activity. The latest eruption began May 3 in a part of Leilani Estates, a subdivision near the town of Pahoa.

Residents - Power - Outages - Cellphone - Coverage

Area residents reported power outages and spotty cellphone coverage as the flows destroy power lines. Authorities said the flow was moving about 200 yards an hour, slower than...
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