Aloha! Welcome to our page about Pāhoa, Hawaii! If you are heading to the lava flow, this town has history you might want to include as part of your trip! The town had a population of 945 people, or at least it did in 2010 when the US government did the most recent census. The name “Pāhoa” means knife or dagger in the Hawaiian language. When the Pāhoa is held pointing downward it is a sign of peace and strength. The Pāhoa High and Intermediate School’s logo is a dagger pointing to the earth. The high school teams are called the Daggers. It’s nice to know there are still places in America that are not 100% politically correct!
It’s a beautiful lush green area with heavy amount of rain and crystal clear blue skies.
On June 27, 2014 the town of Pahoa had quite a scare! Lava had started flowing for the first time from a vent in the Pu’u O’o cone on Kilauea in a northeast direction towards Town. Lava flows very slowly and makes its way on its own path. The lava, albeit slowly was enroute to the neighborhoods and city center of town.
By the first part of September community leaders and state officials began to create evacuation plans and the island mayor signed an emergency proclamation as the flow continued to slowly approach to within just under a mile, a distance that was expected to be covered in only a week. On September 13, Hawaii Volcano Observatory put out a statement that the flow had begun to shift away from a Pahoa subdivision that was in eminant jeopardy as the flow had reacted to the East Rift Zone of Kīlauea volcano together with a valley that had leveled away from the neighborhood.
The lava flow continued on to the downtown area of Pahoa. On October 25, the flow had reached the town’s only transfer station, which had to be closed down and moved. The flow sped up on a local cemetery and then began the first set of resident evacuations. November 10, 2014 was a sad day when the lava claimed a residence.
The State was concerned that the lava would cover over Highway 130, the only way in or out of town and all of the lower Puna area of the island, about 10,000 people in all. On October 22, The National Park Service made a statement that it would cooperate with state and county officials to create an emergency roadway along Chain of Craters Road that had been abandoned by several past flows. This would help Puna residents who would potentially by locked in by lava. The eruption eventually stopped all of a sudden just short of Highway 130, and they called off the work on the emergency road in November 2014.
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