Hawaii town merchant: Lava is slow-motion disaster

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

PAHOA, Hawaii (AP) — Businesses in a small Hawaii town are facing a slow-motion disaster as lava from Kilauea volcano oozes toward roads connecting them to the rest of the Big Island.

Surf shop co-owner Tiffany Edwards Hunt said Wednesday there's a threat Pahoa could become a ghost town if lava crosses the highway.

Hawaii County Civil Defense Director Darryl Oliveira says he's never experienced lava crossing a road so heavily relied on by residents and businesses.

Oliveira says the part of Highway 130 that could be cut off is used by 7,000 to 11,000 vehicles per day.

Geologists say the lava could reach the road in about two weeks if it continues on its current path.

Hunt and other business owners met Wednesday with civil defense officials to prepare.