(Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday declared a slow-moving lava flow from the Pu'u O'o vent of the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii to be a major disaster, the White House said.

The declaration frees up federal money to help protect local communities from the lava flow, which began moving toward homes on the big island of Hawaii on June 27 and is threatening Pahoa village.

The leading edge of the flow has paused about 185 yards from Pahoa Village Road, the main thoroughfare through an old sugar plantation.

No homes have been destroyed and no injuries have been reported.

Kilauea has erupted continuously from its Pu'u O'o vent since 1983. The last home destroyed by lava on the Big Island was at the Royal Gardens subdivision in Kalapana in 2012.

On Sunday, two Hawaii residents were charged with trespassing after police found the man and woman snapping pictures within five feet of a slow-moving river of molten lava, police said.

 

(Reporting by Sharon Bernstein; Editing by Edmund Klamann)