As predicted the lava started moving again. I saw some footage that described how pāhoehoe and ʻaʻā lava move, none of which made me feel any better though I realize it was not intended to.
The June 27th flow is a pāhoehoe flow and the worse thing about that kind of lava is that it moves slow and tends to spread out. If it only takes out a few homes and shops in Pahoa, HI, on its initial descent, it can spread out in the weeks to come and take out more structures as it widens. Claiming buildings that was once thought of as saved.
I imagine the joy of seeing the post office standing after the flow moves through town only to be disappointed as it is engulfed as the weeks go by. The post office is one of those places that I’d rather not see buried under 10 feet of lava. Though my husband would probably be happy to see me disconnected from Amazon.com, at least for a while.
However, we have a rural route box and not a post office box in town and the USPS says it’s going to deliver even if it’s not every day.
Some of the shops started closing in town. I think the first to go was the used book store. My husband says it’s because I got him a Kindle for his birthday. It has subsequently reopened under new ownership. You must have a lot of love for your town to buy a store just yards away from the predicted flow path.
A few restaurants have closed and the rest say they are not leaving until they have to. The local natural food store was preparing to close early on but has remained open.
This week marks the last days of the Localvore Store which is start-up grocery store that carries only locally produced food. It’s sad to see them move out since I’ve watched them grown and remember them picking up fruit from our farm back when they were street vendors.
As of today, the lava has not taken out anyone’s house or business. By tomorrow, that may not be true. Our farm is not on the projected path for the current flow and will not be directly impacted by this lava flow. As it heads to the ocean, we may have to suffer the vog. Vog is a term we use to describe volcanic ash and fog. It looks like fog but it’s inhaled like volcanic ash.
The police have closed off the portion of road in Pahoa that is in the predicted path of the lava and it is only open to local traffic. You can still enter the town from the Pahoa/Kapoho Road and be escorted out by the post office. Highway 130 is currently still open and last minute shopping to Hilo town can still be made to store up on supplies. Alternate routes through residential areas have been made but are not in use yet.
In the meantime, there is not much to do about the lava but check the reports a couple times a day to see its progress and try and predict which area of steepest decent it will take. Living on an active volcano has its drawbacks but never under estimate the people of Pahoa because they are strong and resilient.