Dec 23, 2014 8:11 PM
Hawaii lava stalls just short of shopping center
The Associated Press
HONOLULU (AP) Call it a holiday gift from Pele.
Lava from the mountain believed to be home to the Hawaiian volcano goddess has stalled on its slow creep toward a Big Island shopping center.
Officials had been worried that the lava would hit Pahoa Marketplace on or around Christmas.
Civil defense administrator Darryl Oliveira said Tuesday that the lava's leading edge has stopped about 700 yards from the shopping center, which has a supermarket, gas station and other stores.
He says the lava front appears to have hardened and hasn't advanced since Monday, but it's unclear whether the molten rock has stopped or is just stalled.
A new branch of lava about 300 yards upslope is still active. Oliveira says it could eventually surpass the stalled rock and become the new front.