Hawaii Eruption: 'Not The Time For Sightseeing' In Lava-Hit Neighborhood

Hannah Rogers
May 8, 2018

According to a Sunday evening update from the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, in the Leilani Estates subdivision, in the volcano's lower East Rift Zone, intermittent lava eruption was ongoing, and "new ground cracks in the vicinity of fissures eight and nine...were emitting thick steam and gases".

Hawaii's Kilauea volcano has destroyed 26 homes since it began spewing lava hundreds of feet into the air last week, and residents who evacuated don't know how long they might be displaced. On Friday, a magnitude-6.9 quake hit the area.

Ten fissures in the ground have opened up so far, according to the Civil Defence Agency, spewing out lava and hazardous fumes. "You must be prepared to leave areas if required".

There have been more than 1,000 earthquakes over the last week in the area of Kilauea, produced by the volcano making room for new flows of magma occurring inside it.

The lava could eventually be channeled to one powerful vent while others go dormant, as has happened in some previous Hawaii eruptions, Stovall said. "We had some pauses yesterday, but there's a lot of magma underground". "You can help tremendously by staying out of the area", Civil Defense said, warning that police had established a policy of zero tolerance towards looting or vandalism. Another neighborhood, Lanipuna Gardens, remains under a mandatory evacuation order because of the high levels of toxic gases in the air.

The destructive tear of this volcanic eruption isn't over yet.

Tesha "Mirah" Montoya, 45, said the threat of toxic fumes wasn't enough to make her family evacuate, but the tipping point was the earthquakes.

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Mayor Harry Lim said on Twitter Sunday that an eruption information center would open in Pahoa Monday to address questions from those affected.

"I came home to get my dogs, that was the most important thing". But when he saw lava tear through the streets near his Leilani Estates home, he knew he needed to leave.

Montoya, her husband and daughter don't know how long they will be away from the three-story octagonal house they built almost 20 years ago in a patch of "raw jungle". She later confirmed that lava had covered her property.

Sonner was at work this week when she heard that lava had erupted in her neighborhood. But she was more excited about her home and being a first-time homeowner.

"We're just removing all things of value to us and precious things because I have the feeling it could get real - real, real fast", Noah Dawn said.

Jordan Sonner has been staying with a friend since she fled her home right outside Leilani Estates. Another four unspecified structures were covered by lava, officials said in revised figures issued Sunday.

Kilauea (pronounced kill-ah-WAY'-ah), one of the world's most active volcanoes, has been erupting continuously since 1983.

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