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By Javier Panzar, Los Angeles Times

Residents in the flow path of the slowly erupting Kilauea volcano in the Puna district of Hawaii Island have been told to prepare for a possible evacuation in the next three to five days, county officials said Sunday.

A slow moving strip of lava that has been flowing since June crossed into the Pahoa Cemetery Sunday morning and is crawling along at 10 yards per hour toward downtown Pahoa, the county said in an alert Sunday.

The lava has advanced approximately 250 yards since Saturday morning, according to the alert. The lava may advance faster once it reaches the slopes at or just below the cemetery, according to the U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

Residents in the flow path are being asked to prepare for a possible evacuation in the next three to five days.

The flow began June 27 and traveled through an uninhabited rain forest, skirting the Ka’ohe Homesteads subdivision in September before slowing down.

The volcano has been erupting continuously for 31 years, and the threat in September prompted the building of emergency access roads, but it’s possible that those roads could be covered by lava as the flow advances toward the ocean.

AFP Photo/Patrick Baz

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