After slowly approaching a remote Hawaiian village for month, molten lava from the Kilauea volcano has burned down the first home in Pahoa, according to a report from the Associated Press.
Pahoa is the largest community in the island of Hawaii’s sparsely populated Puna district. The village lies on the slope of Kilauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes. The volcano has been erupting since 1983, but its flows have largely gone toward the uninhabited south. Over the past few years, however, lava began to move toward populated areas.
The unpredictable flows have been threatening Pahoa for weeks but are only now reaching houses. The town’s greatest fear now is that the lava will overtake Highway 130, effectively isolating residents from the rest of the island; alternate routes are being prepared. Many residents have evacuated, while others are prepared to flee.