kilauea lava flow
Hawaii Volcano Observatory geologists walk over the surface of a lava flow from the Kilauea Volcano to track surface breakouts near the village of Pahoa, Hawaii, Oct. 22, 2014. Reuters/U.S. Geological Survey/Handout

The lava flow from the Kilauea volcano is headed toward the cemetery in the town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii, crossing streets and prompting evacuation notices for people living in the flow's path. The flow was moving downhill about 10 yards an hour early afternoon Saturday, burning asphalt and sending up smoke along its route, officials said.

Darryl Oliveira, director of Hawaii County Civil Defense, said the lava flow was moving northeast, the Star-Advertiser reported. He said public safety personnel were going door-to-door to ask residents to be ready to evacuate within the next three to five days if necessary.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said the flow could spread out in the next day or so. Roads have been closed, and the American Red Cross and the Sure Foundation were readying shelters. About 4,000 people live in the area.

Lava began flowing from the volcano June 27. The volcano, the youngest of five volcanoes on the island chain, has been erupting continuously since 1983 but until two years ago most of the lava had flowed south. The Weather Channel reported hazmat crews were sent to the area to check sulfur dioxide emissions.

Watch the flow below:

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