Honolulu, Hawaii: 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 flow's leading edge has stopped about 700 yards (640 meters) from Pahoa Marketplace, which has a supermarket, gas station and other stores.
He says the lava front appears to have hardened and hasn't advanced at all since Monday, but it's unclear whether the molten rock has stopped or just stalled.
A new branch of lava about 300 yards (275 meters) upslope is still active. Oliveira says it could eventually surpass the stalled rock and become the new front.
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Updated Date: Dec 24, 2014 08:33:57 IST