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Kilauea Volcano’s lava covering centuries-old sacred Hawaiian temple

August 11, 1997

VOLCANO, Hawaii (AP) _ Lava from Kilauea Volcano on Monday began to pour over the walls of a 700-year-old Hawaiian temple believed to have been used for human sacrifice.

The temple, the Wahaula Heiau, is considered by some to be most sacred of ancient Hawaiian temple sites.

Lava also was surrounding the site, flowing into the ocean at four points on both sides of the complex of stone platforms at a remote area on the southeastern coast of Hawaii Island, said Hawaii Volcanoes National Park spokeswoman Mardie Lane.

The temple was threatened by molten rock in 1989 and 1990, but those flows diverted around the 4-foot-high walls.

Kilauea has been erupting almost continuously since Jan. 3, 1983, producing more than 1 billion cubic yards of lava and adding more than 60 acres to the island.

The lava has destroyed nearly 300 homes in two subdivisions and a village in the area, along with another smaller temple site.

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