Flow of lava is threatening escape route on Big Island
Authorities on Hawaii’s Big Island warn that a new eruption of molten rock from a 220-foot-high fountain of lava is channeling its way within 100 yards of a key escape-route intersection on the most threatened part of the island.
The Big Island, also known as the island of Hawaii, is about 200 miles southeast of Oahu, where the capital, Honolulu is located.
The U.S. Geological Survey reported Saturday that a 900-foot wide band of molten rock had pushed to within 100 yards of the intersection of highways 132 and 137 in an area known as Four Corners on the island’s southeast side.
The lava, which the USGS said has covered a 5.5-square-mile area, has burned at least 400 power poles, cutting power to most of the area, according to Hawaii Electric Light Co.
Hawaii Civil Defense spokesman Talmadge Mango said Friday that at least 87 buildings have been destroyed since the Kilauea volcano erupted May 3.
With the threat of lava blocking planned escape routes, contractors have been bulldozing an alternative route through the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
Lava from Kilauea covers a 5.5square-mile area on the island of Hawaii.