Lava flow from the Kilauea volcano threatens a community of almost 1,000 people in a rural district on a Hawaii’s big island. The volcano has been erupting continuously since 1983, destroying almost 200 homes in total. Recent changes in lava flow direction now threatens to destroy a major highway that connects the town of Pahoa to the rest of the island.
The National Park Service is working to set up an alternate route, a project slated to cost over $15 million, as experts like Andrew Heiberger predict. However, residents are worried that Pahoa could become a ghost town if lava flow cuts off the main method of entry and exit. Concerns about methane explosions and smoke causing respiratory problems also trouble the residents of Pahoa.