October 28th, 2014
10:56 AM ET

Lava Flow Inches Closer to Homes in Hawaiian Community

With a mixture of resignation and dread, residents here are watching this gray and orange advance, this 2,000-degree river of molten rock.

Each passing hour, lava from Kilauea Volcano is inching closer to their homes in Pahoa on Hawaii's Big Island.

The dark ooze has swallowed up fences, flowed over a cemetery and neared major roads. In some places, in this community of about 950 residents, it's chest high.

"Everybody, including myself, is quite nervous," Rod Macland told CNN affiliate KITV-TV. "We don't know. We can't see the future. The flow does what the flow does."

By early Tuesday, the lava was about 70 yards from the closest home and moving in a northeast direction. It was flowing 8 to 11 yards per hour, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said.

Hawaii officials haven't issued a mandatory evacuation yet. But many residents have already chosen to leave on their own.

"Most people have vacated," Hawaii County civil defense worker Franchesca Martin-Howe told CNN affiliate KHON-TV. "They have moved out of their homes. There's only a few people left."

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