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Three More Homes Threatened By Lava

December 3, 1986

KALAPANA, Hawaii (AP) _ Fiery, molten rock from Kilauea Volcano threatened three more houses after destroying 10 others, while another lava flow pushed further into the sea.

On Tuesday, it was Kaipo and Maizie Roberts’ turn to watch lava approach their home of 42 years.

The lava had almost filled a gully near their house, and destroyed much of the orchids, bananas and papayas they had growing in their back yard.

″I think that I have really loved the land and tried to bring up my children to know that this is their home, so I feel very close to it,″ said Mrs. Roberts, as she watched the molten mass approach her two-story home.

″I’m only glad my mother-in-law, she’s 89, cannot see this,″ Mrs. Roberts said. ″She would not be able to understand why Pele would do this to the family.″

In Hawaiian lore, Pele is the mercurial volcano goddess.

Harry Kim, Hawaii County’s civil defense administrator, said the river of lava also threatened two other homes, and officials were keeping an eye on a smaller flow that may make a push toward Kalapana town, a small residential area of about 30 homes and a few small businesses.

The two-story home of Louis and Becky Pau, which was spared in a heroic effort Thursday by firefighters pouring water to harden the advancing flow as it crossed the yard, burned to the ground Monday night. It was hit by a side flows, the Civil Defense said.

″Mother Nature takes its course,″ said Pau, 60. ″You can’t stop it or hate it. The lava gives us more land than she takes.″

A nearly 8-mile-long lava flow has been fed from an erupting vent in Kilaueau’s east rift zone, which became visibly active July 18. The volcano itself has been erupting since Jan. 3, 1983.

Last Friday, after months of creeping down the mountain side, one finger of lava that had split from the main flow spilled into the ocean. Since then, about 13 acres of new land has been created, and the sizzling, steaming forward edge keeps pushing seaward.

Meanwhile, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park rangers decided to keep a trail leading to the ocean near where the lava was going into the sea open 24 hours. Thousands of people have walked down the trail to watch the sight, which is most spectacular at night, when the luminous lava can be see more clearly.

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