Air Quality Warnings Caused By Smoldering Hot Lava in Hawaii

Officials and scientists trying to keep power on as sizzling lava threatens neighborhoods.
2:07 | 10/30/14

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Transcript for Air Quality Warnings Caused By Smoldering Hot Lava in Hawaii
Now to Hawaii and that slow motion disaster what's been called a river of fire. The unstoppable lava. And this evening, warnings for nearby communities about air quality, too. Our team has been right there tracking it all. These images from the overnight hours. That lava, 2,000 degrees. And it was last night here we showed you the structures beginning to burn. So tonight, we go back to find out what was left. There is also an urgent effort to save the power. Tonight, what they're doing to save those power lines. ABC's senior meteorologist rob Marciano taking us up in the chopper tonight. Reporter: Tonight, the 2,000-degree lava is closer than ever to the town of pahoa. Now in the backyards of residents. That first structure we saw burning yesterday, from the ground today, just ash. And this smoldering pile of tires. Officials warning residents about air qualify. Today, we got a view from above. Just incredible to see the expanse of lava for miles and miles. Still steaming with lava breakouts happening in various parts and just fingers of lava reaching for anything in its path. And we could see residents putzing up a fight. A private resident actually built his own berm, hoping to protect himself. You can see the lava is less than 100 yards from his home there. Teams of scientists monitoring the flow that's less than a quarter of a mile of the island's main road. In an effort to keep the power on after the lava goes through, they're shoring up these utility poles with insulation that goes about halfway up and dirt surrounding it. Well up and over my head. The question is, will the lava go around it or undercut it and knock the power out anyway? Sara Williams' home is just 200 yards away from the smoldering lava. Totally devastating. I'm hoping it doesn't come to this properly. Reporter: Now, the every changing weather has brought another round of rain here. It's not going to stop this lava. And experts say any attempt to divert it will only direct it into another subdivision. Plus, there are cultural considerations. For many native hawaiians, the volcanoes here and the lava they spew is spiritual. It's considered to be sacred.

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