- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 17, 2014

PAHOA, Hawaii (AP) - All the tenants of a Big Island shopping center in the projected path of Kilauea’s lava flow have an evacuation plan, a co-owner said.

“Everyone is totally on it,” Suzanne Kruppa told the Hawaii Tribune-Herald (https://bit.ly/1w0aGuF ).

Kruppa said people considered building a berm around Pahoa Marketplace, but concerns that a berm would divert the lava to someone else’s property prevented them from pursuing it.

“Nobody wants to take on that liability,” she said.

Jungle Love clothing store owner Becky Petersen said she may move her store to Hilo or Kona. She wants to stay as long possible and return if she can.

“I don’t want to leave Pahoa,” she said. “Unless the flow takes the building, I will not give it up.”

The lava was 1,200 to 1,300 yards away from the shopping center Wednesday, said Darryl Oliveira, the director of Hawaii County civil defense. It would reach the center in about five to six days if it continues flowing at its current pace, he said.

The shopping center’s gas station closed Tuesday. The supermarket, hardware store and eye clinic plan to close Thursday.

Shoppers packed Malama Market on Tuesday to stock up before the supermarket closes.

Cindy Caldicott, of Pahoa, said she was disappointed the store can’t be saved. An organic food store in the center of town will continue to operate, but Caldicott said it was too expensive for groceries.

“Where are they going to go?” she said of shoppers. “They can’t go to Hilo.”

Starting Wednesday, the public will get a chance to see lava that poured into the Pahoa trash transfer station last month. The county plans to open the site to the public from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

Representatives from the University of Hawaii at Hilo geology department and the Center for the Study of Active Volcanoes will be on hand for the next few days to answer questions.

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Information from: Hawaii Tribune-Herald, https://www.hawaiitribune-herald.com/

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