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Hawaii Lava Slows, But Still Poses Risk to Town

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The stream of lava threatening the Hawaiian town of Pahoa was not advancing on Friday, but officials said that didn't mean homes weren't still at risk of being consumed by the molten rock.

"Although there hasn't been any activity at the front, there’s no indication that this flow's going to stop or that the eruption's going to terminate," said Darryl Oliveira, director of Hawaii County Civil Defense. The lava flow from the Kilauea volcano has been creeping toward Pahoa for weeks, but on Friday the activity was restricted to "break outs" away from the town. While residents of the town are under evacuation advisories, Oliveira said the Hawaii County of Civil Defense was working to make sure they maintained "some sort of normalcy in their lives." He encouraged children to trick-or-treat in unaffected places, adding that the Halloween tradition would be a good "opportunity for the kids to interact with the National Guard," who arrived Thursday to ensure security.

Two people were arrested Thursday for "criminal trespassing" because they got too close to the front of the lava flow, Oliveira said. While he recognized viewing the lava would be an "opportunity of a lifetime," he asked residents and tourists to trust officials to designate a time and place where they "can do it safely." While all utility lines remained intact, the lava was toppling trees and "in a moment's notice, things could change dramatically," Oliveira said.

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