- Associated Press - Friday, December 19, 2014

PAHOA, Hawaii (AP) - Lava flowing in a rural Hawaii town continues to slow down and is estimated to reach a shopping center in about eight days.

Hawaii County Civil Defense Director Darryl Oliveira said Friday that could change and is based on the current advancement rate. The lava advanced about 130 yards from the previous day.

Oliveira says the lava appears to be slowing as it heads to Pahoa Marketplace.

Most merchants have either closed or are preparing to close. The shopping center is a major commercial hub for the area.

State Sen. Russell Ruderman owns a natural food store, which becomes the only place where residents can buy groceries after the shopping center’s Malama Market closed. He says he’s concerned about accommodating increased business and customers seeking products the store doesn’t carry.

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