Hawaii officials order residents to flee homes amid lava fears

Hannah Rogers
June 1, 2018

Hawaii authorities have a message for residents in some areas affected by the Kilauea volcano: evacuate or get arrested.

Since the first eruption occurred in the Leilani Estates subdivision on the evening of Thursday, May 3, emergency officials believe almost 2,500 residents have been forced to evacuate as lava, flowing from numerous volcanic fissures, consumes everything in its path. "It can cause injury to eyes and lungs if breathed in".

Ash is still erupting from Kilauea's summit, Ball added, in addition to seismic activity and gas output.

"Hawaii County Civil Defence chose to evacuate all of lower Puna to ensure that people would be able to get out", Stovall said.

As lava crossed Highway 132, officials shut a stretch of road from Lava Tree State Park to Four Corners and told residents who had not evacuated to leave the area immediately.

The lava is bubbling from a particularly violent fissure - or volcanic crack in the Earth's surface - called Fissure 8. Lava from another fissure was about 2.8 miles (4.5 kilometers) above the intersection and was advancing in pauses and surges of about 600 yards (548.64 meters) per hour, scientists said.

The U.S. Geological Survey released drone footage Wednesday of another fast-moving lava flow that trapped a man in Leilani Estates over the weekend.

Pahoa residents reported Pele's hair falling Monday night, CNN affiliate Hawaii News Now reported.

"It's hard to get to the center, which is the hottest portion of the fountain", Stovall said.

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Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim on Wednesday renewed an emergency proclamation for 60 more days, allowing construction of temporary shelters and other relief projects to proceed on an expedited basis, without reviews and permits normally required.

Nevertheless, some ash and fumes have been spouted high enough into the atmosphere to be carried far over the Pacific Ocean, with observers in the Marshall Islands, Micronesia and Guam detecting traces of vog - a hazy mix of sulphur dioxide, aerosols, moisture and fine particles, Birchard said.

Besides the lava, there's also the danger of "vog", or volcanic smog.

Authorities had earlier advised that lava flow from Fissure eight had blocked a major highway and caused an electricity blackout, and recommended evacuations of other nearby areas as telephone communications were cut.

Video and images shared by the agencies showed massive yellow bulldozers breaking up the black rock, which is 20 to 30 feet thick in some spots.

Forcing new evacuation orders in two coastal neighborhoods.

"Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports that lava from several fissures continues to move through Leilani Estates, Lanipuna Gardens and towards the Kapoho area".

It could be a while before power returns.

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