Hawaii lava flow destroys first home

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Lava burns vegetation as it approaches a property boundary early on the morning of Oct. 28. A lava flow from the volcano Kilauea is advancing on the community of about 950 people on Hawaii's Big Island. (Photo: USGS)

(CNN) — Lava from Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano engulfed a home Monday in Pahoa village, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It’s the first home to be destroyed by the lava flow.

The residents had long evacuated and cleared out their belongings, officials said.

“The lava spread out and ignited the house before noon local time,” said USGS spokeswoman Janet Baab. “There are no other homes in imminent danger. We are watching the flow closely and continue to monitor it.”

There is nothing residents can do about the 2,000-degree Fahrenheit river of lava that’s been inching towards their town since June 27.

While the main lava flow has been stalled for a week, a smaller side flow of lava oozed out toward the home, according to Hawaii County’s Civil Defense Agency.

“It’s very difficult for the homeowners, because it’s a stop-and-go phenomenon,” said Darryl Oliveira, the civil defense agency’s administrator.

Evacuation advisories for residents down slope of the lava flow will continue as needed, officials said.

Kilauea has been an active volcano since 1983.

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