Evacuations ordered as Hawaii volcano erupts

Hawaiians on volcano eruption watch as hundreds of earthquakes hit island in less than 72 hours

Hawaiians on volcano eruption watch as hundreds of earthquakes hit island in less than 72 hours

The eruption sent lava rolling into the streets of Leilani Estates, a subdivision where almost 2,000 people live that's about 220 miles from Honolulu. Calio, her husband, and two dogs are staying at a shelter a few miles from the lava eruption.

Many residents took to social media to share photos and videos of the eruption. The volcano, one of five on the island, erupted on Thursday after a series of earthquakes over the last couple of days.

About 1,500 people were evacuated after the volcano erupted Thursday. The plume dissipated as it drifted southwest, dropping ash on some nearby communities.

She said Kilauea is one of the most active and well-monitored volcanoes in the world.

Hawaii County said steam and lava poured out of a crack in Leilani Estates, which is near the town of Pahoa on the Big Island.

A key factor will be whether magma reservoir at the summit starts to drain in response to the eruption, which has not happened yet, said Asta Miklius, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

A river of destructive lava flowing underground was released around 4:30 p.m. local time into a residential subdivision, prompting people in the area to pack their belongings and abandon their homes, witnesses told The Washington Post.

On Wednesday, cracks were also reported on the road in Leilani Estates, but officials reported they did not pose a lava threat.

"We were trying to figure out what's the most important thing to grab", she said. "It was like that just about all night long", said Chris Burmeister, who lives in Leilani Estates. Emergency shelters opened at community centers.

"Should an eruption occur, residents along the east rift zone may have little warning".

Kilauea volcano erupted and released lava into a residential area in Hawaii on Thursday leading to mandatory evacuations of nearby homes
Kilauea volcano erupted and released lava into a residential area in Hawaii on Thursday leading to mandatory evacuations of nearby homes

Hawaii civil defense officials said on Friday that the volcano is still erupting and driving up sulfur dixoide gas to extremely high levels.

Overnight into Wednesday, quakes continued to shake Puna as seismic activity appeared to be moving eastward toward Kapoho.

More than 250 minor earthquakes struck near the volcano in a matter of hours. The school is slated to remain closed Thursday, officials said.

"There is quite a bit of magma in the system", Miklius said.

Areas downslope of the erupting vents were at risk of being covered by lava. "And so we are watching that very, very closely".

The eruption followed days of earthquakes that rattled the Puna district. That eruption lasted about three months and left nearly 4,000 acres of land covered in lava, the news site reported.

Currently, new ground cracks have been reported in the area, but the eruption seems to have calmed down.

Another resident, Ikaika Marzo, told Hawaii News Now that he saw "fountains" of lava as high as 125 feet (38 meters). The area can draw 500 to more than 2,000 visitors, depending on the level of volcanic activity.

A series of terrifying earthquakes rocked the southern Hawaii volcano late on Thursday, May 3, causing massive amounts of damage to the structure of the volcano. The closure includes access to the gravel emergency access road from the eastern gate near Kalapana to the western gate at the end of Chain of Crater Road. The Lanipuna Gardens subdivision was also forced to evacuate.

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Police, who were on duty nearby, immediately responded to the emergency and shifted both the motorcyclists to PIMS. Police officials had said he would not be released until they received a written letter from the Foreign Office.


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