Volcano Eruption in USA on May 04 2018 04:14 AM (UTC).
It's a milestone no one was looking forward to, but that everyone expected. On Monday, Hawaii County Civil Defense confirmed that the officially tally of homes destroyed by ongoing eruptions in lower Puna had reached 700. Meanwhile, hundreds of other homes have sustained damage, are unlivable because of volcanic emissions or are inaccessible. And thousands remain displaced, stuck in a months-long cycle of explosive events at Halemaumau Crater, ash rising, air pollution and an ongoing flow of lava into the ocean. Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologists said fissure no. 8 continues to pour lava into a channel feeding into the ocean. At Kilauea's summit crater, explosive eruptions continue to trigger large quakes. The latest happened Monday about 9:20 a.m., when a explosion generated a magnitude-5.3 earthquake. Meanwhile, the eruptions that started May 3 show no signs of stopping. U.S. Geological Survey scientists say lava now covers more than 6,100 acres on the Big Island. Lava flowing off Kapoho has created at least 405 acres of new land. Last week along, 46 more homes were destroyed and just four homes remained standing in Kapoho. As eruptions continue, residents who have lost their homes - or who can't return to them because of toxic gases, or lava cutting across access points - are scrambling for housing solutions. So far, those solutions have been hard to find. Nonprofits and the community have banded together to provide temporary solutions, including a village of tiny homes in Pahoa. Meanwhile, hundreds remain at Red Cross emergency shelters, camped out in parks, or on private farms. Fissures 8 and 22 are the only two fissures that remain active, with both flows oozing into Leilani Estates and feeding flows headed to the sea. Not only that, but the eruption has been so vigorous that it has been creating its own weather over lower Puna with thunderstorms firing up. The bigger picture on Hawaii Island remains the same: The eruption is ongoing and it's not clear when it will end. Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim on Monday declared a state of emergency for at least the next 60 days and signed a third supplementary emergency proclamation that expands an earlier supplementary emergency proclamation related to real property tax assessments for areas of lower Puna. According to Kim, homeowners who are able to relocate from the affected area have not been able to have their homeowner's exemption relocate with them for at least six months, which has placed an unnecessary hardship on them. To relieve that, Kim has suspended the period for claiming and applying for a homeowner exemption for anyone who has relocated from the affected area.
Fountains from the 180 ft. tall Fissure 8 spatter cone continue to supply lava to the open channel with intermittent small, short-lived overflows, scientists reported Friday. That flow continues to enter the ocean at Kapoho. The flow is producing a broad ocean entry along the shoreline, and is also oozing fresh lava at Kapoho Beach Lots, civil defense said Saturday morning. Two more homes were destroyed by lava yesterday in Kapoho, bringing the total number of homes lost since the eruption began in May to 668, Mayor Harry Kim told the County Council yesterday. Due to active lava near houses in Kapoho, access by residents is not allowed, civil defense says. Fissure 22 is also active and producing a short flow, civil defense reported this morning. "Gas emissions from the fissure eruption and laze at the ocean entry continue to be very high," officials said. "The National Weather Service reports trade winds will push vog to the south and west side of the island." Due to frequent earthquakes near the summit, civil defense says residents in the Volcano area are advised to monitor utility connections of gas, electricity, and water after earthquakes.
A collapse at the summit of Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano on Friday created an explosion equivalent to a 5.2-magnitude earthquake, the U.S. Geological Survey said. The agency said the event created an ash-poor plume about 500 feet into the air. Seismic activity near the volcano has been regular since early May when eruptions first began. "Following the explosion at the summit, the seismicity will sharply drop off, and then gradually begin to build up as we approach the next summit explosion," Alex Demas, of the USGS, told Hawaii News Now. "So as long as the summit explosions continue, there likely will be earthquakes and ground shaking associated with the explosion." The USGS' Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said Fissure 8 is releasing spatter and causing lava flows into the Kapoho Beach Lots and ocean. The spatter is creating Pele's hair, lightweight, volcanic glass fragments downwind of the fissure. The Hawai'i County Civil Defense said gas emissions from the fissure were "very high." Since the volcanic activity began in April, lava has destroyed 657 homes, mostly in the Leilani Estates and Vacationland neighborhoods. Some 1,600 households on the Big Island have registered to receive aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
As explosive eruptions continue at Kilauea's summit, Halemaumau Crater's eruptive vent has expanded significantly. And this week, it gobbled up a parking lot that's been closed since 2008. "The once-popular parking lot that provided access to Halemaumau is no longer ... (as) more of the Kilauea crater floor slides into Halemaumau," the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said, in an online update. "The Crater Rim Drive road now ends at Halemaumau instead of the parking lot." Earlier this month, U.S. Geological Survey released photos of the parking lot with deep cracks and covered in ash and stone projectiles. Explosive eruptions at the crater have dramatically changed the landscape at Kilauea's summit, triggering almost daily earthquakes topping magnitude 5.0. Meanwhile, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park remains closed and National Park Service officials say damage there is mounting.
A 5.3 earthquake struck Hawaii's Kilauea summit Friday afternoon, the latest in a series of increased seismic activity overnight Thursday into Friday. Activity climbed to 40 events per hour with up to five earthquakes per hour that were greater than magnitude-3, CBS Honolulu affiliate KMBG reports. Friday marked the fifth day in a row an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.0 hit the summit. Friday's 5.3 quake was not powerful enough to generate a tsunami, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said. Officials said Friday morning that lower levels of sulfur dioxide gas and minor amounts of ash are being transported downwind, with small bursts of ash and gas accompanying intermittent explosive activity, KMGB reports. Experts expect heavier vog, or volcanic smog, to blanket the interior and southern parts of the Big Island, wrapping around to Kona through the weekend. The Department of Health recommends residents with breathing issues should limit outside activities and stay indoors. Several residents have reported symptoms such as itchy throats and watery eyes and noses in response to the affected air quality, KMGB reports. The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports that the eruption continues in the lower East Rift Zone. Lava fountains were observed in Fissure No. 8 overnight Thursday, reaching heights of 200 feet within the growing the cone of cinder and spatter, which reached 165 feet at its highest point. Lava from the fissure continues to flow to ocean at Kapoho, with rare, small overflows of the channel levees. Fissures No. 16 and 18 also continue to ooze lava, the USGS said. According to KGMB, more than 112 million cubic meters of lava have erupted from 24 fissures that opened up along a 3.8-mile line that cuts through Leilani Estates, ground zero for the ongoing eruptions. Since eruptions began on May 3, lava has destroyed as many as 700 homes on the Big Island. There is "a lot of desperation out there. A lot of tears. A lot of, 'What now?'" Big Island Mayor Harry Kim said at a news conference earlier this week. Gov. David Ige said Thursday that President Trump approved the request for individual assistance Thursday. Ige says qualifying residents may receive help from the federal government for issues such as shelter, unemployment, trauma and legal matters.
Mount Kilauea shows no sign of loosening its fiery grip on the devastated Big Island. With new eruptions and the crater nearly doubling in size, here is all the latest information on the volcano. The volcano, which has devoured around 600 homes so far, has been erupting explosively since May 3. USGS scientists have reported that the crater at the volcano's summit has nearly doubled since the tightened activity began. The USGS said: "Inward slumping of the rim and walls of Halema`uma`u continues in response to ongoing subsidence at the summit." The last measurement of the crater's dimension by scientists was around 1.8km (1.1 mile) wide "which is nearly twice as large as it was before explosions began on May 17, 2018". Kilauea has been in an active cycle for the last 35 years but turned explosive when a magnitude 6.9 earthquake rocked the area in late April. This is being cited as an unprecedented event, as there are two eruptions occurring simultaneously. The first is the eruption at Kilauea's summit crater, and the second along a six-mile string of fissures 25 miles down its east flank. Smaller eruptions are occurring regularly from the summit, and some fissures continue to spew molten lava. Around 9,900 earthquakes have been recorded in the area over the past six weeks. The lava has provided residents with a host of hazards, from sulphurous gasses to shards of volcanic glass in the air. The lava is also creating laze - lava haze - a deadly mix of hydrochloric acid fumes, steam and tiny specks of volcanic glass, created when lava hits the ocean. In addition to the decimated homes, the lava has damaged power and telephone lines and huge swathes of land and roads have been wiped out. The damage to the island's geothermal plant is still unknown after it was inundated with lava. Most recently, residents are noticing something a little more pleasant from the eruption: green crystals. The minerals, called Olivine, have been raining down on homes near the eruption and popping up near the lava flows. Olivine is very easily weathered, so it is most commonly seen at the earth's surface in the form of sand - resulting in Hawaii's famous green beaches. U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientist Wendy Stovall said the phenomenon is to be expected. She said: "It's pretty common. There's often olivine in rocks all over Hawaii." No one has been killed by this period of activity, but one man was seriously injured when he was hit in the leg by a lava bomb. Scientists are unable to predict when this period of activity could end.
US Geological Survey (USGS) officials have kept the area on red alert after a fissure in the monster's lower east rift zone spat out a fountain of blistering lava at an extraordinary height in the early hours of this morning. In its latest status report, USGS said: "Vigorous eruption of lava continues from the lower East Rift Zone (LERZ) fissure system in the area of Leilani Estates. "Lava fountaining from Fissure 8 continued throughout the day, topping out at about 200 feet in height." USGS has put the region on a 'warning' volcano alert level and aviation code 'red'. Lava bubbling under the extreme pressure has also filled Kapoho Bay and its rock-hard magma has remarkably created nearly a mile of new land. Residents have been warned to avoid any contact with the toxic sulphur dioxide particles being pumped from the volcano, as well as the ash falling from the sky. Officials warned "volcanic glass" from the dangerous fissure 8 falling downwind and "accumulating on the ground at Leilani Estates." USGS said: "High winds may waft lighter particles to greater distances. Residents are urged to minimise exposure to these volcanic particles, which can cause skin and eye irritation similar to volcanic ash." Fleeing locals have also been warned not to approach the ocean as the deadly mixture of blistering lava spewing into the cold water has caused a chemical reaction called 'laze'. Laze, the result of hydrochloric acid from the mix of lava and salty sea water, is extremely harmful to the lungs and can cause breathing difficulties. The beast's eruption has also devastated Big Island's Highway 130 by causing huge cracks in the main road used by thousands each day. The eruption has also produced a mysterious ice-cold rain and temperatures too plummet to below freezing which has bizarrely triggered a winter weather warning, a phenomenon that has left scientists scratching their heads. One Hawaiian meteorologist Pete Caggiano said: "Lava flow has actually prompted a winter weather advisory for the summit of the Big Island. "Lava is entering into the ocean that is creating a lot of steam. As that steam rises up it cools and falls back down as freezing rain and fog. "I have never seen this before. This has sparked a winter weather warning for above 12,000 ft. There are ice on the roadways so this is creating dangerous conditions. "This weather is yet another unusual byproduct of this lava flow that continues to emerge." The volcanic disaster is believed to be the most costly and destructive in US history. More than 400 homes have been destroyed since the eruptions started a month ago.
A magnitude 5.6 earthquake has struck the summit of Hawaii's Kilauea volcano summit, sending a plume of ash and rock about 10,000 feet into the sky. Hawaii County officials said the Wednesday eruption could cause ash to fall over some populated areas, including the towns of Volcano and Pahala. The temblor came just hours after U.S. Geological Survey scientist Wendy Stovall said another eruption was imminent. Increased earthquake activity in the region earlier in the day fit what Stovall called a "pattern" for explosive eruptions at Kilauea's summit. No tsunami was generated by the earthquake, officials said. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park spokeswoman Jessica Ferracane said there were several earthquakes at the summit early this morning. A live webcam stationed at the summit shows volcanic gas and ash pouring from the crater vent.
A small explosion occurred at Kilauea's summit at 4:32 a.m. HST on Tuesday, June 5. Pacific Tsunami Warning Center reports the event as an magnitude 5.5 earthquake. This is similar to other events of the past few weeks, according to a United States Geological Survey (USGS) tweet. There was no tsunami threat, but there could be another eruption. Many of the previous eruptions have followed earthquakes. Kilauea is currently under red warning, according the USGS. The USGS declares a red warning if a "major volcanic eruption is imminent, underway, or suspected with hazardous activity both on the ground and in the air." Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) overflight confirms that lava extends 0.7 of a mile into Kapoho Bay as of 6:30 a.m. HST, according to a USGS tweet. To the south, lava is entering the water at the Vacationland tidepools. Lava has inundated most of that subdivision, according to a USGS. To the north, lava has covered all but the northern part of Kapoho Beach Lots. The northernmost lobe of the Fissure 8 flow, in the Noni Farms Road area, advanced downslope about 200 yards overnight. The intensity of lava fountaining at Fissure 8 declined overnight, but it still remains active. The fountain height is fluctuating between 130 and 160 feet. Fissure 8 continues to feed a channel transporting lava to the northeast along Highway 132 and east to the ocean entry in Kapoho Bay, according to a USGS. Hawaii has experienced approximately 9,900 earthquakes in the last 30 days accompanied by ash plumes and spewing lava, according to USGS. Volcanic eruptions and lava flows have devastated communities and evaporated lakes on the island.
A magnitude 5.5 earthquake shook the Kilauea summit, resulting in an ash plume that reached up to 8,000 feet, according to Hawaii County Civil Defense. The earthquake happened at 3:51 p.m. local time on Sunday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It did not cause a tsunami threat, according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center. But the Hawaii Civil Defense Agency said the fallout will affect the volcano and Pahala areas, and cautioned about the possibility of aftershocks. There were 500 quakes in the summit area of Kilauea in a 24-hour period over the weekend - the highest rate ever measured at the summit area, according to Brian Shiro, supervisory geophysicist at the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. Following vigorous eruptions from the Kilauea volcano, nearly a dozen people were left stranded in an area cut off by lava, Hawaii authorities announced Sunday. Hawaii Civil Defense Service officials said they went through the neighborhood to warn residents this was their last chance to evacuate before their final escape route was cut off by lava. Some chose to stay in the area, which now has no power, cell reception, landlines or county water, officials said. Authorities are planning to airlift people out if the lava spreads farther and endangers the dozen or so holdouts. Some said they were staying because they had nowhere else to go, officials said. Three people were evacuated from an isolated part of the Kapoho community Sunday, according to the Hawaii Fire Department. "USGS was on a routine overflight and saw people on the road in an area cut off by the lava. They stopped to inquire of their situation, and then when asked, airlifted them to a safe place. They had become trapped after trying to move belongings, and had no cell service," according to they agency statement. USGS said it will not be commenting further on the matter nor providing additional information. When asked at a press conference Sunday night how many people remain stranded by lava, Hawaii Civil Defense Administrator Talmadge Magno did not provide much more detail, saying, "Got reports of seeing people here and there. Yesterday I gave an estimate of about a dozen, probably still at that - minus these three." Magno reiterated that there's no power or water in these areas and that those stranded are "off the grid." Meanwhile, seven people were cited Saturday for loitering in a disaster zone, and they will have to appear in court, Hawaii officials said. Volcanic gas and ash emissions remain high at the Kilauea summit and in the fissure system, the Civil Defense Agency said on Sunday. It advised residents in communities downwind, including Pahala, Ocean View and Kona, to limit their exposure to gas and ash. At least 87 homes have been destroyed by the Kilauea volcano eruption in the four weeks since lava began flowing, Magno said Friday. The lava from the Kilauea volcano has covered an area of 5.5 square miles - four times as big as New York's Central Park, according to USGS.Four weeks have passed since the first eruption rocked Hawaii's Big Island and lava continues oozing from volcanic fissures, burning homes to the ground and turning into rivers of molten rock. This eruption has lasted longer than the 1955 and 1924 eruptions, the USGS said.
The Big Island's mayor, Harry Kim, declared a roughly 17-block swath of the lava-stricken Leilani Estates subdivision off-limits indefinitely and gave any residents remaining there 24 hours to leave or face possible arrest. The mandatory evacuation zone lies within a slightly larger area that was already under a voluntary evacuation and curfew. The latest order was announced a day after police arrested a 62-year-old Leilani Estates resident who fired a handgun over the head of a younger man from the same community, apparently believing his neighbor was an intruder or looter. The confrontation on Tuesday was recorded on cell phone video that later went viral. But the mandatory evacuation was "decided prior to that incident," said David Mace, a spokesman for the Federal Emergency Management Agency currently assigned to the Hawaii County Civil Defense authority. Civil defense officials have previously said about 2,000 residents in and around Leilani Estates were displaced at the outset of the current eruption, which began on May 3. But the total number of evacuees was estimated to have risen to about 2,500 after authorities ushered residents from the nearby Kapoho area as a precaution on Wednesday, as a lava flow threatened to cut off a key access road. At least 75 homes - most of them in Leilani Estates - have been devoured by streams of red-hot molten rock creeping from about two dozen large volcanic vents, or fissures, that have opened in the ground since Kilauea rumbled back to life four weeks ago. Lava flows also have knocked out power and telephone lines in the region, disrupting communications. Besides spouting fountains of lava around the clock, the fissures have released high levels of toxic sulfur dioxide gas on a near constant basis, posing an ongoing health hazard. Meanwhile, the main summit crater has periodically erupted in clouds of volcanic ash that create breathing difficulties and other problems for residents living downwind. The heightened volcanic activity has been accompanied by frequent earthquakes, as magma - the term for lava before it reaches the surface - pushes its way up from deep inside the earth and exerts tremendous force underground. After a month of continual eruptions at Kilauea's summit and along its eastern flank, geologists say they have no idea how much longer it will last. "There's no sign we're getting that anything is going to slow down at the moment," Wendy STOVL, a vulcanologist for the U.S. Geological Survey, told reporters on a conference call on Thursday. "We don't see any changes occurring." The island's mayor 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. The month-old eruption of Kilauea, one of the world's most active volcanoes, followed an eruption cycle that had continued almost nonstop for 35 years. Stovall said geologists now believe the latest upheaval should be classified as a separate volcanic event, though an official determination has yet to be made.
Lava from several fissures continues to move through Leilani Estates, Lanipuna Gardens and towards the Kapoho area. Residents of Kapoho Beach Lots and Vacationland are advised to evacuate due to the possibility of lava cutting off access to Beach Road near Four Corners. Civil Defense reports one lava flow is approximately two-and-a-half miles from Four Corners and a second is about a half-a-mile from Highway 137, north of Ahalanui County Park. Due to the volcanic activity the following policies are in effect: Beach Road, from Four Corners to Hawaiian Beaches, is restricted to resident access only, between 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., to allow continued evacuations. Highway 132 is closed. Leilani Estates residents with approved credentials are allowed to enter at 7 a.m. but must leave by 6 p.m. This curfew is strictly enforced for your safety. A mandatory evacuation is in effect past Pomaikai Street. Residents close to any volcanic activity should remain alert and be prepared to voluntarily evacuate if necessary. Crews began work today on opening an emergency evacuation route for Lower Puna on the Chain of Craters Road and should be able to complete that that work in about a week or two, according to a spokeswoman for the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. That news comes hours after the hottest lava yet in the current eruption from Kilauea volcano emerged from a fissure in Leilani Estates subdivision and raced northeast down a slope toward the sea, moving at speeds that at times reached 600 yards per hour early this morning. That rate of advancement for lava is "very fast for this type of flow," said Wendy Stovall, a U.S. Geological Survey volcanologist. "This one is different because it's not flowing south and downslope, and it kind of followed the highway instead of taking the path of steepest descent from our projected models....Those were all surprises." Lava flows from several fissures continue to advance toward the Kapoho area, according to Hawaii County Civil Defense. They are estimated to be less than half a mile from Highway 137. A light earthquake also struck the Kilauea summit area of Hawaii island this morning but did not pose a tsunami threat.

The magnitude 4.5 quake struck at 10:55 a.m. at a depth of three-quarters of a mile and was centered 3.7 miles southwest of Volcano, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. "No tsunami is expected," the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said in a bulletin. "However, some areas may have experienced shaking." By 6 a.m. this morning, that flow was about two miles from the intersection of Highways 132 and 137, an intersection known locally as the Four Corners. If the flow crosses Highway 137 as it appears to be poised to do, it would completely cut off access to the subdivisions in the area. The leading edge of that lava flow slowed somewhat later this morning, she said, but reports from the field indicate fissure 8 that produced the flow "is doing exactly what it's been doing for essentially the past 12 hours - fountaining heights are high, above 200 feet, and there just no sign of waxing or waning in that fountain itself." The evacuation area in Lower Puna was abruptly expanded in response to the rapidly moving flow early this morning to include the coastal subdivisions of Vacationland and Kapoho Beach Lots. Police went door-to-door in those subdivisions in the early morning hours to warn residents that if they did not leave immediately, they could become isolated if lava crossed Highway 137 near the ocean. County Department of Public Works crews helped residents to move their belongings in an operation that was completed at about 2:30 a.m., said county spokeswoman Janet Snyder. The one-lane rural route designated as Highway 137 was converted into a one-way route out of the Lower Puna area to ease the flow of evacuation traffic. Snyder was unable to say how many people were evacuated overnight. A total of 341 people were gathered at three Puna emergency shelters this morning, but many of those residents were evacuated from Leilani Estates and other parts of Puna earlier in the month. Many of the homes in the Vacationland and Kapoho Beach Lots are used as vacation rentals, and county officials have been warning residents of the area for more than a week to be prepared to evacuate on very short notice. "The area is now closed off, and it is for residents only getting out," Snyder said. Staff were added to the two county-run shelters at Pahoa Community Center and Keaau Community Center, she said. Fissure 18 was also highly active this morning and was feeding one lava flow reaching to within about a half-mile of the famous coastal warm pond at Ahalanui, and another extending its reach to about a mile from the Four Corners intersection, which is a critical access point for Highway 137. State and county officials have scheduled public meetings for 5:30 p.m. tonight at the Robert N. Herkes Gymnasium and Shelter in Kau, and at the Pahoa Intermediate and High School cafeteria in Pahoa at 5 p.m. on Tuesday. So far the Lower East Rift eruption that began May 3 has destroyed 75 homes.
Rivers of lava flowed toward the ocean on Hawaii's Big Island over the weekend, forcing officials to knock on doors and urge residents holding out in two evacuated neighbourhoods to flee right away. Molten rock trapped at least one person who was rescued by authorities. The Kilauea volcano has been unleashing danger on the remote, rural southeastern side of the island for nearly a month, displacing thousands of residents, destroying 37 houses and forcing businesses to shut down. A section of a key rural highway closed after a lava flow came within about 90 metres, according to the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. The two-lane highway connects Pahoa, a small town near the evacuation zones of the Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens neighbourhoods, to the east coastline and links two other small highways that run north and south. Lava was shooting up from cracks in the ground and blowing strands of volcanic glass. Explosions at the summit were sending small bursts of volcanic ash as high as 4,570 metres. Wind was carrying volcanic glass, gases, pollution and ash particles to other parts of the island. Authorities on Tuesday advised residents to minimize exposure to avoid irritation to skin and eyes and breathing problems.
A fast-moving lava flow from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano has shut down a road in the area with residents urged to keep out of the way. And an eruption at a nearby crater has thrown ash 15,000 feet into the air - prompting fresh warnings that residents need to be prepared to evacuate their homes. Meanwhile Hawaiian Volcano Observatory has issued a warning about a substance known as Pele's hair, or volcanic glass, which can cause skin and eye irritation. A spokesman for the County of Hawaii said: "Highway 132 is being shut down between Lava Tree State Park to Four Corners, due to a fast moving lava flow approaching the highway. Everyone is advised to avoid the area. "Beach Road is the only access into lower Puna. You are advised to make necessary plans and monitor your radio or phone for Civil Defense alerts." In addition, ash as a result of an eruption from the Halemaumau crater was being blown towards the northwest, with ash fall possibly affecting the Volcano and Pahala areas. He added: "Officials are monitoring active flows near the Highway 132 and Pohoiki Road junction. "If 132 is overrun Beach Road will be the only access into the lower Puna area. "You are advised to make necessary plans and monitor your radio or phone for Civil Defense alerts." "Ash fallout may cause poor driving conditions. "Drive with extreme caution, or pull over and park. "Residents close to the active eruption must remain alert to changes in the flow direction, and are advised to prepare for voluntary evacuation should their areas become threatened." The Hawaii Volcano Observatory spokesman added: "Pele's hair from vigorous fountaining of Fissure 8 is being transported downwind, and there are reports of some strands falling in Pahoa. "Residents are urged to minimise exposure to Pele's hair (volcanic glass), which can cause skin and eye irritation similar to volcanic ash." The volcano has been erupting since May 3, with dozens of buildings destroyed and lava flowing across several major roads, as well as into the ocean. Experts will be on hand to answer questions from concerned residents about the health risks posed by noxious fumes produced by Hawaii's Kilauea volcano during a question and answer session tomorrow. Vog results when large amounts of sulphur dioxide react in the atmosphere with sunlight, oxygen and other gases. Breathing in this toxic cocktail, even a short periods, can result in long-term irritation and damage to the nasal passages, throat and lungs. Experts in attendance will include those from the observatory, as well as ??the ?Hawai'i County Civil Defense Agency, ?the ?Hawai'i State Department of Health and a lung health specialist. Free masks will also be distributed which can protect against volcanic ash.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center reports the earthquake that occurred at approximately 5:39 p.m. was NOT large enough to cause a tsunami for the Island of Hawaii. Preliminary data from the U.S. Geological Survey indicates that the earthquake measuring a magnitude of 4.1 was centered nearly five miles south of Volcano, in the Hilina region of Kilauea. As in all earthquakes, be aware of the possibility of aftershocks. If the earthquake was strongly felt in your area, precautionary checks should be made for any damages; especially to utility connections of gas, water and electricity.
The lava flow in Leilani Estates has crossed Pohoiki Road slightly north of the HGPA site, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports. The flows to the south continue to enter the ocean near MacKenzie State Park. Lava is now covering 2,372 acres. Halemaumau crater is also letting out small bursts of volcanic ash, which is slowly being pushed downwind, southwest into the Kau District. Volcanic gases, vog and ash emissions may increase in areas down wind of the vents. Areas along Kamalii Road are experiencing elevated levels of sulfur dioxide. Due to the volcanic activity, ash fallout may cause poor driving conditions. Residents nearby must remain alert to changes in the flow direction, and are advised to prepare for evacuation if their areas become threatened. While Kilauea Volcano continues to pump 10,000 tons of emissions into the sky per day, county officials have now determined that 41 of the 82 structures consumed by lava were homes. Four explosions from Kilauea crater over night sent ash plumes 12,000 feet above sea level or higher as meteorologists warn that wind patterns could change Monday or Tuesday. Winds are expected to continue blowing south/south-west into Sunday, said John Bravender of the National Weather Service. But more volcanic eruptions - coupled with changing wind patterns to the north/north-west starting Monday - "will bear watching," Bravender told reporters today. "From a vog and S02 (sulfur dioxide) standpoint, this could lead to higher concentrations of gases in more populated places, Pahoa, and other places across the Big Island," he said. So far, hot gas coming out of cracks along Highway 130 - the major road leading into Lower Puna - show that levels of hydrogen sulfide are "below the detection limit," said Wendy Stovall of the Hawaii Volcano Observatory. The levels indicate that the heat coming out of the cracks "is just steam," she said. "Yes, it is hot," Stovall said. "There is magma beneath those cracks, but it is not close to the surface and it has not breached the water table, as far as we know." Evidence of hydrogen sulfide, Stovall said, "means that magma is encountering the ground water and it's starting to boil away the ground water, which would mean the magma is moving closer to the surface. ... But there's no indication that cracks around Highway 130 are close to showing signs that magma is at, or close to, the surface."
Firefighters went door-to-door urging some residents of Leilani Estates to leave as lava from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano moved closer, once again. "Any residents remaining in the current affected areas should evacuate now," read an emergency message sent by the County of Hawaii Civil Defense. Thick waves of fresh lava from fissure 22 and 7 -- which officials say is producing the largest amount of lava -- are blazing down a mount of volcanic rock. "It's just a matter of time," resident Steve Gebbie says. "I don't know what's going to be left of Leilani, I really think it might be wiped out." This week, eruptions sent ash plume 10,000 feet up in the air. More red and orange lava fountains emerged and lava reached the Pacific Ocean, presenting a new threat for residents. The oozing lava has destroyed a total of 82 structures on Hawaii's Big Island and other 37 structures have become inaccessible in the last days, said Hawaii County Civil Defense Administrator Talmadge Magno. About 2,200 acres have been covered in lava since the Kilauea volcano eruptions began on May 3, Magno added. The US Geological Survey said there were 90 earthquakes of multiple intensities at the volcano summit in about 6 hours on Friday.
A 4.4-magnitude earthquake struck Hawaii's Big Island Friday near the summit of Kilauea voclano, the U.S. Geological Survey said, the largest of several quakes that struck Friday. The tremor did not generate a tsunami, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center told CBS Honolulu affiliate KGMB. The agency says the island doesn't face a tsunami threat after the temblor struck around 12:44 p.m. Friday. County officials have warned of aftershocks. An earthquake at 6 p.m. Thursday sent an ash cloud 10,000 feet into the air, the USGS said. The Kilauea volcano has been erupting for three weeks, spewing lava from cracks that emerged in neighborhoods and sending ash sky-high from its summit. Earthquakes also have been occurring. Hawaii County officials say the number of structures lava has destroyed on the Big Island is now 82. So far, lava has covered 3.4 square miles of land in lower Puna, cutting off access to at least 37 homes, KGMB reports. About 2,000 people were ordered to evacuate from the rural communities where the lava fissures opened. On Thursday night, resident Isaac Krakauer took to Facebook Live to document lava flows claiming several homes in the Leilani Estates subdivision. "This is insane. This lava is advancing at about two feet more minute and we're seeing this river move across this lawn taking that house in a matter of minutes," Krakauer said in the video, as he documents a landscape on fire - a field of lava over lawns, covering trees and advancing on homes. "This thing is moving so fast. It's hard to even look at it, it's so bright and hot," Krakauer said.
Moderate-level eruption of lava continues from multiple points along the active fissure system. Fissure 22 continues to erupt lava that is flowing southeast to the coast where lava is entering the ocean. Fairly tall fountains at Fissures 6 and 13 feed lava into a channel that reached the coast yesterday making a second ocean entry. Fissure 7 and 21 are feeding a pahoehoe flow that has advanced eastward covering most of the area bounded by Leilani Blvd, Mohala St., and and the fissure line. Fissure 17 continues weak spattering, Fissure 19 and 23 are no longer active. HVO field crews are on site tracking the lava flows and spattering from multiple fissures as conditions allow and reporting information to Hawaii County Civil Defense. Volcanic gas emissions have tripled as a result of the voluminous eruptions from the erupting fissures so SO2 concentrations are likely elevated to higher levels throughout the area downwind of the vents. Moderate trade winds today means that areas downwind of Kilauea gas emission sources may experience varying levels of vog. This eruption is still evolving and additional outbreaks of lava are possible. Ground deformation has slowed and seismicity levels have decreased in the area. Future outbreaks could occur both uprift (southwest) and downrift (northeast) of the existing fissures, or, existing fissures can be reactivated. Communities downslope of the fissure system could be at risk from lava inundation. Activity can change rapidly. The ocean entry is a hazardous area. Hazards include walking on uneven, glassy lava flow surfaces and around unstable, vertical sea cliffs. Venturing too close to an ocean entry on land or the ocean exposes you to flying debris from sudden explosive interaction between lava and water. Also, the lava delta is unstable because it is built on unconsolidated lava fragments and sand. This loose material can easily be eroded away by surf, causing the new land to become unsupported and slide into the sea. In several instances, such collapses have also incorporated parts of the older sea cliff. Additionally, the interaction of lava with the ocean creates "laze", a corrosive seawater plume laden with hydrochloric acid and fine volcanic particles that can irritate the skin, eyes, and lungs. Multiple small eruptions of ash occurred over the past day, all ejecting ash to under 10,000 ft above sea level. One of the largest occurred about 10:30 this morning. Additional explosions are possible at any time. Seismic levels, which abruptly decreased after the recent explosive eruptions, are again slowly increasing. At this time, based on HVO web cameras, a robust plume of gas and steam is billowing out of the Overlook vent and drifting generally southwest. At any time, activity may again become more explosive, increasing the intensity of ash production and producing ballistic projectiles very near the vent. Communities downwind should be prepared for ashfall as long as this activity continues. Seismicity and deformation continue at the Kilauea summit. Deflation is ongoing.Additional earthquakes in the Kilauea summit area are expected as long as the summit continues to deflate.
Authorities were scrambling to firm up contingency plans Tuesday as lava pouring from Hawaii's erupting Kilauea volcano slowly encroached on a power plant on the Big Island. The lava flow entered the 800-acre property of the Puna Geothermal Venture Plant on Monday and had stalled at a swale about 300 yards from the nearest underground well. On Tuesday, the lava was advancing. "Fissure 6 reactivated last night and has been erupting since around midnight," Hawaii County civil defense officials said in a statement. "The flows from Fissure 6 are slowly flowing closer to PGV property." If lava breaches wells, authorities fear it could release hydrogen sulfide, a toxic and flammable gas. Most of the wells have been capped with thick steel plates. Thomas Travis, an administrator of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, has warned that the intense heat could weaken the metal. "That's why having lava flow across the well causes some uncertainties that have to be dealt with," he said. "To our knowledge, no one has faced this before." For residents in the area, uncertainty is the name of the game. "It's different from a hurricane because a hurricane comes and goes," says Smiley Burrows, a Kapoho resident and caretaker of Green Mountain, a well-known Kapoho landmark encompassing 256 acres at the bottom of the lower East Rift Zone. "Right now we're feeling safe and people are working together. But it's an uncertainty we are dealing with on a daily basis and no one knows what's going to happen." Kapoho residents like Smiley are keeping a wary eye on lava as it approaches the geothermal plant about five miles away. But their main concern is water. Lava consumed county water lines to Kapoho, as well as a second set of relocated water lines to the community. Now Kapoho residents are receiving water from county water tankers and private resources. For many residents, leaving the area, even in the face of a natural disaster, is not an option. Hawaii County has the highest poverty rate in the state, with 20.2 percent of all Big Island families with children under the age of 18 living below the national poverty line. The district of Puna has the highest poverty rate within Hawaii County. "There are many people that can not leave at all," says lower Puna resident Ronnette Gonsalves. "A lot of people here struggle financially and now that struggle is five-fold." "They're afraid to leave their homes not knowing if they will be able to get back. Some have invested everything they have into their homes. It's crazy because you have people who have the means to get out of here and then you have people who don't have $10 for gas to get out. They don't have money to get a hotel room. It's challenging and heartbreaking." The plant has been shut down, and tens of thousands of gallons of flammable gas stored at the site have been removed. County, state and federal authorities are monitoring the flow and working with the power plant "to ensure the safety of the surrounding communities," the county civil defense agency said in a statement. It added that nearby residents should be prepared to leave the area with little notice because of gas or lava inundation. "This situation will be closely monitored," the statement said. "There is no immediate threat to any of the wells at PGV." PGV is a geothermal energy conversion plant that extracts steam and hot liquid from underground wells. The liquid, or brine, is not used for electricity, but the steam is directed to a turbine generator that produces electricity. Even the exhaust steam from the turbine is used to heat fluid to drive a second turbine, generating more power. The electricity generated by PGV is sold to Hawaii Electric Light. Authorities also are contending with another threat as molten rock from Kilauea finds its way to the ocean: laze. Laze forms when 2,000-degree lava hits the cooler seawater. A hydrochloric acid steam cloud billows into the air, along with fine particles of glass. The acid in the plume is about as corrosive as diluted battery acid, scientists said. Laze can cause irritations of the skin, eyes and lungs, and people who have asthma or emphysema may be particularly vulnerable.
Lava from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano is pouring into the sea and setting off a chemical reaction that creates giant clouds of acid and fine glass. The lava haze, or "laze," is created when molten rock hits the ocean and marks just the latest hazard from a volcano that has been generating earthquakes and spewing lava, sulfur dioxide and ash since it began erupting in Big Island backyards on May 3. The dangers have forced at least 2,000 people to evacuate and destroyed more than 40 buildings. It's also created anxiety for thousands of others about the possibility of lava heading their way or cutting off roads they depend on to get to work, school and grocery stores. It is made of dense white clouds of steam, toxic gas and tiny shards of volcanic glass. Janet Babb, a geologist with the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, says the plume "looks innocuous, but it's not." Laze is formed when lava enters the ocean and triggers a series of chemical reactions. The seawater cools the lava, which forms a glass that shatters. Tiny pieces are picked up by the steam cloud, which contains hydrochloric acid that also is created by the interaction of lava and the ocean. "Just like if you drop a glass on your kitchen floor, there's some large pieces and there are some very, very tiny pieces," Babb said. "These little tiny pieces are the ones that can get wafted up in that steam plume." Scientists call the glass Limu O Pele, or Pele's seaweed, named after the Hawaiian goddess of volcano and fire. The clouds contain hydrochloric acid, which is about as corrosive as diluted battery acid. It can irritate the skin and eyes and cause breathing problems. Babb says protective masks that officials have been distributing to protect people from volcanic ash will filter particles from lava haze but not the hydrochloric acid. Laze itself is not enough to cause serious burns, Babb said, unless someone is right on top of where lava enters the ocean. Waves also can wash over molten lava and send scalding water onshore, so people should maintain a safe distance. No major injuries have been reported from lava haze. The U.S. Geological Survey says laze contributed to two deaths in 2000, when seawater washed across recent and active lava flows. Mostly people who are near the lava entry on the southern coast, either on land or in boats just offshore. Where the plume wafts depends heavily on wind direction and speed. The gas clouds initially appear on the shoreline, but trade winds on Sunday carried plumes about 15 miles (24 kilometers) to the southwest. The cloud was offshore, running parallel to the coast. When the winds die down, the plume can flatten out. Its size, meanwhile, depends on the volume of lava falling into the sea. The hazards minimize once the shards fall to the ground because the glass would mix with the Earth. Methane explosions could be a problem as lava flows into areas with a lot of vegetation. Babb said that is because decaying vegetation creates pockets of methane, which the lava's heat can ignite. Late Sunday or early Monday, lava entered and then stalled on the property of a geothermal plant. Officials earlier this month removed 50,000 gallons (190,000 liters) of stored flammable gas from the site to reduce the chance of explosions. Hawaii County spokeswoman Janet Snyder said the lava stalled behind a berm on the property boundary. The plant harnesses energy from the volcano for electricity. Underground wells bring up steam and hot liquid, and the steam feeds a turbine generator.
A small explosion from the Halemaumau crater in Hawaii's Kilauea volcano at about midnight local time created an ash cloud that reached up to 10,000 feet, according to an alert from the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. More explosive events like the one on Friday could make for minor amounts of ashfall downwind at any time, and volcanic ash emissions remain high. In addition, fast-moving lava crossed a road and threatened dozens of homes, prompting National Guard helicopters to airlift residents from Hawaii's lower Puna area. Hawaii officials warned residents in affected areas to shelter in place Friday night and await further instructions. The lava forced the closure of Pohoiki Road, cutting off at least 40 homes, the Hawaii County Civil Defense said. The agency urged residents near Highway 137 to be ready for voluntary evacuations should the threat grow. "With fresher, hotter magma, there's the potential that the lava flows can move with greater ease and therefore cover more area," US Geological Survey geologist Janet Babb told CNN affiliate Hawaii News Now. Resident Ikaika Marzo said the lava flow has left him and his neighbors rattled. It sounds like 10 or 20 jets taking off from your backyard at the same time, he told the affiliate. "It's been like hell," he said. "It's like huge grenades going off. It shakes the whole community." Volcanic gas emissions at the summit remain high and additional explosions are possible at any time, the observatory said. The US Geological Survey also reported Saturday that a 5.0 magnitude earthquake occurred on Big Island on Saturday evening. The USGS said the epicenter was near Kilauea. A few hours later, two active lava flows from fissures near Kilauea Volcano joined together into one flow near Highway 137, according to Hawaii County Civil Defense. No structures are presently threatened, but at the current rate, the lava "may cross the highway within the next five to six hours," the agency said Saturday night.
Lava creeping across roadways destroyed four homes and left dozens of others in the shadow of Hawaii's Kilauea volcano isolated Saturday, forcing more residents to plan for a possible evacuation. Hawaii County Civil Defense said a fissure near the neighborhood of Lanipuna Gardens has been continuously erupting, releasing a slow-moving lava flow. If that lava threatens a nearby highway, more people will be told to prepare for voluntary evacuation. On Friday, fast-moving lava crossed a road and isolated about 40 homes in a rural subdivision, forcing at least four people to be evacuated by county and National Guard helicopters. The wide lava flow was "very active" Saturday morning and advancing at rates of up to 300 yards (274 meters) per hour, scientists from the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said. Police, firefighters and National Guard troops were securing the area of the Big Island and stopping people from entering, Hawaii County Civil Defense reported. The homes were isolated in the area east of Lanipuna Gardens and Leilani Estates. Both neighborhoods had 40 structures, including 26 homes, decimated by lava over the past two weeks. Three people still in that area Friday night were initially advised to shelter in place and await rescue by helicopter first thing Saturday. Since then, two of them got out on their own in the morning and one was evacuated by air, said Janet Snyder, spokeswoman for Hawaii County. "They shouldn't be in that area. We told them they will be locked in," said County Managing Director Wil Okabe. "It's more serious now. They're putting their lives at risk." He said he hopes people heed evacuation warnings. County officials have been encouraging residents in other parts of the district to prepare for potential evacuations.Edwin Montoya, who lives with his daughter on her farm near the site where lava crossed the road and cut off access, said he was at the property earlier in the day to get valuables. "I think I'm lucky because we went there this morning and we got all the batteries out, and all the solar panels out, about $4,000 worth of equipment," he said. "They have to evacuate the people that are trapped up there right now in the same place that we were taking pictures this morning." He said no one was on his property, but his neighbor had someone on his land. "I know that the farm right next to my farm . he's got somebody there taking care of the premises, I know he's trapped," Montoya said. Montoya said the fissure that poured lava across the road opened and grew quickly. "It was just a little crack in the ground, with a little lava coming out," he said. "Now it's a big crater that opened up where the small little crack in the ground was." Experts are uncertain about when the volcano will calm down. The Big Island volcano released a small explosion at its summit just before midnight Saturday, sending an ash cloud 10,000 feet (3,048 meters) into the sky. The U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said eruptions that create even minor amounts of ashfall could occur at any time. This follows the more explosive eruption Thursday, which emitted ash and rocks thousands of feet into the sky. No one was injured and there were no reports of damaged property.

Scientists said the eruption was the most powerful in recent days, though it probably lasted only a few minutes. It came two weeks after the volcano began sending lava flows into neighborhoods 25 miles (40 kilometers) to the east of the summit. A new lava vent - the 22nd such fissure - was reported Friday by county civil defense officials. Several open fissure vents are still producing lava splatter and flow in evacuated areas. Gas is also pouring from the vents, cloaking homes and trees in smoke. The fresher, hotter magma will allow faster lava flows that can potentially cover more area, said Janet Babb, a geologist with the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. Much of the lava that has emerged so far may have been underground for decades, perhaps since a 1955 eruption. Meanwhile, more explosive eruptions from the summit are possible. "We have no way of knowing whether this is really the beginning or toward the end of this eruption," said Tom Shea, a volcanologist at the University of Hawaii. "We're kind of all right now in this world of uncertainty." It's nearly impossible to determine when a volcano will stop erupting, "because the processes driving that fall below the surface and we can't see them." said volcanologist Janine Krippner of Concord University in West Virginia. U.S. government scientists, however, are trying to pin down those signals "so we have a little better warning," said Wendy Stovall, a volcanologist with the observatory. Thus far, Krippner noted, authorities have been able to forecast volcanic activity early enough to usher people to safety. The greatest ongoing hazard stems from the lava flows and the hot, toxic gases spewing from open fissure vents close to homes and critical infrastructure, said Charles Mandeville of the U.S. Geological Survey's volcano hazards program. Authorities have been measuring gases, including sulfur dioxide, rising in little puffs from open vents. The area affected by lava and ash is small compared to the Big Island, which is about 4,000 square miles. Most of the island and the rest of the Hawaiian chain is unaffected by the volcanic activity on Kilauea. State and local officials have been reminding tourists that flights in and out of the entire state, including the Big Island, have not been impacted. Even on the Big Island, most tourist activities are still available and businesses are open.
Hawaii's Kilauea volcano spewed ash nearly six miles (9 km) into the sky on Thursday and scientists warned this could be the first in a string of more violent explosive eruptions with the next possibly occurring within hours. "This has relieved pressure temporarily," U.S. Geological Survey geologist Michelle Coombs told a news conference in Hilo. "We may have additional larger, powerful events." Residents of the Big Island were warned to take shelter from the ash as toxic gas levels spiked in a small southeast area where lava has burst from the ground during the two-week eruption. The wind could carry Kilauea's ash plume as far as Hilo, the Big Island's largest city and a major tourism center, the County of Hawaii Civil Defense warned in an alert. "Protect yourself from ash fallout," it said. Some Big Island residents had feared "the big one" after Kilauea shot anvil-sized "ballistic blocks" into the visitors' car park on Wednesday and was rocked by earthquakes that damaged buildings and cracked roads in the park that was closed last week. SEE ALSO: Kilauea Volcano: Code red warning issued as eruptions intensify But geologists said the 4:15 a.m. (10:15 a.m. EDT) explosion was not particularly large and on a par with the last series of steam-driven blasts, which took place in 1924. "The activity is such that they can occur at any time, separated by a number of hours," Hawaiian National Volcano Observatory Deputy Scientist-In-Charge Steve Brantley told reporters on a conference call. Geologists said it was extremely unlikely Kilauea would have a massive eruption like that of 1790 which killed dozens of people in the deadliest eruption to occur in what is now the United States.
About 150 National Guard troops are involved in crisis response on the Big Island of Hawaii, where the Kilauea volcano erupted Thursday and sent a cloud of ash and debris rising to 30,000 feet, a Pentagon official said. The Hawaii National Guard troops are assisting in fire prevention, air quality tests and traffic control, as well as preparing evacuation plans and providing support to local law enforcement, said Dana White, the Pentagon's chief spokesperson. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has put Brig. Gen. Kenneth Hara, deputy adjutant of the Hawaii National Guard, in charge of the crisis response at least through June 14, she added. At a press briefing on the Big Island on Wednesday, Hara said his troops are involved in getting out the message to residents to "be prepared at a moment's notice that they might have to evacuate." "What's challenging for us is -- what's going to be the population we're going to need to evacuate by air? I think the worst case is about 1,000," he said, but "some may elect to stay there because they are so self-sufficient." The eruption at 4:14 a.m. local time at the volcano's summit followed a similar but smaller eruption Tuesday. The latest eruption opened up more than a dozen fissures east of the crater and came after two weeks of volcanic activity and lava flows that have destroyed at least 26 homes and 10 other buildings but caused no deaths thus far. "The one this morning was definitely the biggest we've seen so far just in terms of energy and how high up into the atmosphere it got," U.S. Geological Survey volcanologist Michelle Coombs said at a morning press conference.
Strong earthquakes within the summit of Kilauea Volcano continue in response to ongoing deflation and lava column drop.As of the afternoon of May 16, the floor of K?lauea caldera has dropped approximately 3 feet (90 cm). This movement is stressing faults around the caldera of Kilauea, causing them to move and resulting in strong earthquakes of up to magnitude 4.4 thus far. Employees at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and nearby residents are reporting frequent ground shaking and damage to roads and buildings. Hawaii County Police reports cracks across Highway 11 between mile markers 28 and 29. Although these are passable, motorists are urged to use caution. As deflation continues, strong earthquakes in the area around Kilauea Volcano's summit are expected to continue and may become more frequent. Areas further from these earthquakes may feel some ground motion as well, but much less severe. The shallow depths of these earthquakes make them more damaging in the immediate vicinity of the epicenter, and individuals need to take precautions to minimize damage from the shaking, including the removal of unstable items from walls and shelves.Steep slopes should be avoided as they may become destabilized during strong earthquakes.
Hawaii residents are facing the highest volcanic activity alert after officials warned Tuesday that the Big Island's Kilauea volcano is growing more explosive -- as a massive ash cloud grows in the sky. The U.S. Geological Survery upgraded its previous volcano warning from "orange" to "red," signifying that an "eruption is forecasted to be imminent with significant emission of ash into the atmosphere likely," or that an eruption is already underway. "At any time, activity may become more explosive, increasing the intensity of ash production and producing ballistic projectiles near the vent," local officials told Fox News amid the alert, which was issued just before 1:30 p.m. local time. Nearly 20 fissures have opened since the Kilauea volcano started erupting 12 days ago. On Monday, another fissure spewing lava and unhealthy gas opened up, and a crack in the Earth that emerged a day earlier was sending molten rock on a slow run for the ocean, officials said. The eruption has destroyed about two dozen homes in the Leilani Estates subdivision on the Big Island. Volcanic air pollution and ashfall have been reported in Pahala, and National Weather Service radar and pilots have reported the top of the volcano's ash cloud is 10,000 to 12,000 feet above sea level. Nearly 2,000 people have been told to evacuate since May 3.
As if the catastrophic, home-devouring lava weren't bad enough, now residents have to worry about choking on sulfur dioxide. Dangerous levels of the toxic gas are rising from some fissures, or cracks in the ground caused by the volcano, Hawaii County officials said. "Severe conditions may exist such as choking and inability to breathe," the county's civil defense agency said. "This is a serious situation that affects the entire exposed population." Officials warned residents to leave the area and to get medical attention if they're affected by the gas. Toxic sulfur dioxide seeps out of a street in Leilani Estates, Hawaii. Since the Kilauea volcano erupted May 3, it's been one nightmare after another for residents of southeast Big Island. At least 19 fissures have cracked open since Kilauea Volcano erupted, purging lava and sulfur dioxide from deep underground. A fissure spews lava in Pahoa, Hawaii, after a massive eruption of the Kilauea volcano. Fissure 17 is the most active, shooting lava like a fountain and "sending spatter more than 100 feet into the air," the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said. CNN's Stephanie Elam said her heart started pounding as she approached one fissure. "It sounded like hammers in the dryer," she said. "The molten rock was such a deep vibrant orange that it looked technically altered. When the sulfur dioxide hit my lungs once, it took my breath away." The Hawaii State Department of Health is asking the general public to avoid any area with fissures because the gases emitted require special cartridge respirators. Hawaii residents scramble for masks that won't actually help them
The eruption of a Hawaii volcano in the Pacific "Ring of Fire" has experts warily eyeing volcanic peaks on America's West Coast that are also part of the geologically active region. The West Coast is home to an 800-mile chain of 13 volcanoes, from Washington state's Mount Baker to California's Lassen Peak. They include Mount St. Helens, whose spectacular 1980 eruption in the Pacific Northwest killed dozens of people and sent volcanic ash across the country, and massive Mount Rainier, which towers above the Seattle metro area. "There's lots of anxiety out there," said Liz Westby, geologist at the U.S. Geological Survey Cascades Volcano Observatory in Vancouver, Washington, in the shadow of Mount St. Helens. "They see destruction, and people get nervous." Kilauea, on Hawaii's Big Island, is threatening to blow its top in coming days or weeks after sputtering lava for a week, forcing about 2,000 people to evacuate, destroying two dozen homes and threatening a geothermal plant. Experts fear the volcano could hurl ash and boulders the size of refrigerators miles into the air. Roughly 450 volcanoes make up this horseshoe-shaped belt with Kilauea situated in the middle. The belt follows the coasts of South America, North America, eastern Asia, Australia and New Zealand. It's known for frequent volcanic and seismic activity caused by the colliding of crustal plates. America's most dangerous volcanoes are all part of the Ring of Fire, and most are on the West Coast, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Besides Kilauea, they include: Mount St. Helens and Mount Rainier in Washington; Mount Hood and South Sister in Oregon; and Mount Shasta and Lassen Volcanic Center in California. Images of lava flowing from the ground and homes going up in flames in Hawaii have stoked unease among residents elsewhere along the Ring of Fire. But experts say an eruption on one section of the arc doesn't necessarily signal danger in other parts. "These are isolated systems," Westby said. No eruption seems imminent, experts say. The Cascades Volcano Observatory monitors volcanoes in the Pacific Northwest and posts weekly status reports. All currently register "normal." But the situation can change fast. "All our mountains are considered active and, geologically speaking, things seem to happen in the Northwest about every 100 years," said John Ufford, preparedness manager for the Washington Emergency Management Division. "It's an inexact timeline." Some geologists believe Mount St. Helens is the most likely to erupt.

But six other Cascade volcanoes have been active in the past 300 years, including steam eruptions at Mount Rainier and Glacier Peak and a 1915 blast at Lassen Peak that destroyed nearby ranches. The Big Island scenes of rivers of lava snaking through neighborhoods and sprouting fountains are unlikely in the Pacific Northwest. "Lava is not the hazard, per se, like in Hawaii," said Ian Lange, a retired University of Montana geology professor. Cascade volcanos produce a thicker, more viscous type of lava than Hawaiian volcanoes, so it doesn't run as far, Lange said. The Cascade volcanoes can produce huge clouds of choking ash and send deadly mudslides into rivers and streams. Two of the most potentially destructive are Mount St. Helens, north of the Portland, Oregon, metro area, and 14,000-foot (4,270-meter) Mount Rainier, which is visible from the cities of Seattle and Tacoma.Mount Rainier eruptions in the distant past have caused destruction as far west as Puget Sound, some 50 miles (80 kilometers) away. The volcano hasn't produced a significant eruption in the past 500 years. But it remains dangerous because of its great height, frequent earthquakes, active hydrothermal system, and 26 glaciers, experts said. An eruption on Mount Rainier could rapidly melt glaciers, triggering huge mudflows - called lahars - that could reach the densely populated surrounding lowlands, Westby said. Another major danger from a Cascade volcano eruption would be large amounts of ash thrown into the air, where it could foul aircraft engines. The closest settlement to a West Coast volcano may be Government Camp, on Oregon's Mount Hood. Lava could conceivably reach the town, but the greater threat is an eruption triggering a so-called pyroclastic flow, which is a fast-moving cloud of hot ash and gas, experts said. But Lange believes California's Mount Shasta is the most dangerous, in part because it is surrounded by towns. The town of Mt. Shasta has numerous response plans for emergencies, including a volcano eruption, Police Chief Parish Cross said. But the plan for a volcano is pretty fluid, he said. "We don't know the size or scope of the event," Cross said, including which direction the eruption would occur.

This is not an issue in Orting, Washington, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) west of Mount Rainier. Orting would be directly in the path of a lahar, and local officials each year conduct drills in which children move from school to higher ground to escape the flow. Students usually take about 45 minutes to walk the 2 miles (3 kilometers) to higher ground, which should be fast enough to escape, officials said. "Our concern is ice and snow melting rapidly on Mount Rainier," said Chuck Morrison, a resident of the town of 7,600 who has long been involved in evacuation planning. "We need a quick way off the valley floor." Orting is the town most vulnerable to lahar damage from Mount Rainier, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Scientists say that in the worst case, a 30-foot-high (9-meter-high) lahar with the consistency of wet concrete could rumble through Orting at 50 mph (80 kph) if volcanic activity suddenly melted snow and ice on Rainier.
wo new fissures began spewing magma on Saturday as officials in Hawaii warned of the possibility for an "explosive eruption" as lava continues to withdraw from the summit lake at Kilauea. Hawaii's Civil Defense Agency announced a 16th fissure had opened early in the day Saturday, followed by an announcement at 7 p.m. local time of a 17th fissure. Both fissures were located in the lower East Rift Zone, east of the Puna Geothermal energy plant and northeast of homes in the Lanipuna Gardens subdivision. The Kilauea volcano first erupted April 3, sending toxic gases into the Big Island's atmosphere and eventually leading to more than a dozen cracks opening in the neighborhoods of Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens. Nearly 2,000 people were evacuated from the neighborhoods last week. Officials already said last week they had moved flammables from Puna Geothermal uphill in case anything starts flowing near them. The agency said activity from the 16th fissure, which is located in a mostly forested region away from homes, was "minor" and "no significant lava flow was issued from this area." In addition to the new fissures, officials with the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory were concerned another volcanic eruption could occur on Kilauea. "HVO has cautioned about the possibility of an explosive eruption at Halema'uma'u Crater due to the ongoing withdrawal of lava from Kilauea summit lake," the Civil Defense Agency said in a statement. "This could generate dangerous debris very near the crater and ashfalls up to tens of miles downwind." The agency warned previously that boulders the size of refrigerators could be launched from the crater should another eruption take place. President Donald Trump declared a major disaster in Hawaii on Friday in order to open up federal funding for those on the island affected by the volcano's eruption. At least 35 structures, including two dozen homes, have been destroyed since the beginning of the volcanic activity 10 days ago.
Residents on the Big Island of Hawaii were alerted on Thursday to rising levels of toxic gas from lava-oozing fissures, and geologists warned that new areas east of the erupting Kilauea volcano may be at risk to molten rock bursting from the ground. Hawaii County authorities sent a text message to residents of the southeast corner of the island notifying them that a wind change would bring rising levels of sulfur dioxide gas, which can be fatal if inhaled in large quantities. "Due to decreasing trade winds, residents are advised to monitor their sensitivity to increased levels of SO2," the text message sent at 9:22 a.m. said. Hawaii's governor has warned that mass evacuations may be required as more fissures open in the ground and spew lava and gas into semi-rural residential areas on the east flank of Kilauea, one of the world's most active volcanoes. Authorities on Thursday completed the removal of highly flammable chemicals from a nearby geothermal power plant that was in the path of creeping lava. The latest upheaval at Kilauea began last week after the crater floor of a long-active side vent collapsed suddenly in a cloud of ash, triggering a similar plunge in the molten lake inside the larger crater at the volcano's summit. What followed was a flurry of earthquakes as huge volumes of magma - the term for lava beneath the surface - drained back through deep-underground passages that carried the molten rock far downslope. The lava then forced its way back to the surface through large cracks, or fissures, that opened at ground level in a residential area miles (km) away.
Two new vents from the erupting Kilauea volcano on Hawaii's Big Island prompted officials on Tuesday afternoon to order the immediate evacuation of residents remaining in Lanipuna Gardens. All 1,700 residents of Leilani Estates, as well as the smaller Lanipuna, had previously been ordered to evacuate. But that doesn't mean they all have. "Some people are not complying," said Debra Weeks, director of disaster services at the American Red Cross in Hawaii County, regarding evacuation orders. "They're putting themselves at risk. They're putting first responders at risk. ... If you know anyone still out there, encourage them to come in - not only for their own safety, but for safety of the community." Hawaii County's civil defense said the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory indicated the two new vents - the outlet for lava and other material to escape - "are actively erupting." Meanwhile, some Leilani Estates residents were able to return home Monday to retrieve pets, medicine and vital documents. The home visits are expected to continue depending on conditions, according to the Hawaii County Civil Defense. But no visits were permitted for residents of Lanipuna Gardens because of volcanic gases. Residents voiced frustration and anxiety after being forced to evacuate their homes as lava and hazardous fumes spewed on the Big Island. Many of them grappled with uncertainty, not knowing whether their homes are intact or have been engulfed in lava flows that by Tuesday covered at least 104 acres. Residents on Monday night crammed into a community meeting, seeking answers. Is this situation going to go on for months? Can I go into my house to retrieve my pet if I wear a gas mask? Why am I being told I can't get into my neighborhood? There were no easy answers amid the toxic stew of sulfur dioxide and lava ripping through the ground. Meanwhile, authorities urged patience. "Abide by the rules," said Hawaii County Deputy Fire Chief Renwick Victorino. "If someone goes down, we've got to go in, risk our lives. We know it's a dangerous situation already. If you guys can help us out, please, please do." He added that it's not only the sulfur dioxide, which is life-threatening at high levels, but also the cracking and fissures. "We don't know when and where it's going to happen. Until it's stabilized, I highly suggest staying out of the area," he said. Gov. David Ige told CNN that it's been tough for residents. "There's a sense that it's Mother Nature," he said. "The lava flow is unpredictable. It's hard to determine which direction it will go. It starts and stops on a whim. That's the uncertainty that residents are faced with." The Hawaii Civil Defense said 35 structures - including at least 26 homes - had been destroyed and a total of 12 fissures have formed, including two on Monday. Although the volcano activity has subsided at all 12 fissures - it's likely just a pause in activity and doesn't necessarily make it significant, Janet Babb, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologist, said before the latest alert.Geologists expect the eruptions will continue, Ige said. "The big question is how big a volume of magma is in transit right now in the subsurface and that's not always easy to tell," Charles Mandeville, program coordinator for volcano hazards at the US Geological Survey, told HLN. "What looks like a safe zone can turn very hazardous very, very quickly and, bear in mind, that the gases coming out of the ground in these fissures are at 2,100 degrees Fahrenheit," he said. Is there such a thing as volcano insurance in Hawaii? Even a quick visit home could be dangerous. "Please be aware that because of unstable conditions that involve toxic gas, earthquakes and lava activities, lines of safety can change at any time," Hawaii Civil Defense said. "You must be prepared to leave areas if required." But there were people trying to get into closed-off areas on Monday as police arrested two people attempting to get past roadblocks into Leilani Estates.
The Kilauea volcano erupted again on Tuesday, spewing toxic gases out of two new vents and prompting authorities to call for an immediate evacuation of residents from a second neighborhood on the Big Island. The County of Hawaii Civil Defense Agency issued an emergency bulletin ordering residents of the Lanipuna Gardens area on the east side of the island to leave their homes. "Hawaiian Volcano Observatory confirms 2 new vents. All Lanipuna residents must evacuate now," the agency said in its bulletin, adding that the two vents had opened near two road intersections and were "actively erupting". Earlier on Tuesday residents of the hardest hit area, known as Leilani Estates, drove through clouds of sulfur and over cracked roads to make desperate and possibly last visits home before another eruption by Kilauea, which has already destroyed 35 homes and other structures. David Nail, who recently sold his business and moved to Lelani Estates from Orange County, California after his wife was diagnosed with Parkinsons disease, said a 20-foot wall of lava blocked him from getting close enough to see if his house had been destroyed. "All we could do was sit there and cry," Nail said. Earlier in the day U.S. Army veteran Delance Weigel, 71, collected some of his prized possessions as steam and sulfur dioxide gas rose out of cracks in the street. "The way it looks now, I thought I'd try one more time to get my things out," Weigel said. "Whether we lose our home or not, we'll see. But we're definitely going to be cut off. You move to paradise, then this happens." No deaths or major injuries have been reported since Kilauea, which has been in a state of nearly constant eruption since 1983, began a series of major explosions on Thursday, spewing fountains of lava as high as 300 feet (90 meters) into the air and deadly volcanic gas up through cracks in the earth. Kilauea predominantly pours basaltic lava flows into the ocean, but occasionally experiences more explosive events such as the one that began last week. Some 1,700 residents were ordered to leave Leilani Estates, where lava has been bubbling out of some 2-1/2 miles (4 km) of fissures in the ground emanating from Kilauea lava tunnels on the eastern side of the Big Island. New areas could be subject to evacuation as fingers of the fissure system slowly spread eastward, threatening neighborhoods that until now had been considered safe. "There's still plenty of magma under the ground. Seismicity is still up," Hawaii Civil Defense Administrator Talmadge Magno told a community meeting on Monday night. "If things get dicey, you got to get out." On Friday, The southeastern corner of the island was rocked by a powerful magnitude 6.9 earthquake on the volcano's south flank, the strongest since 1975, and more quakes and eruptions have been forecast, perhaps for months to come. Kilauea has opened a total of 14 volcanic vents since it started sending out fountains and rivers of lava as hot as 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit (1,093 degrees Celsius) on Thursday, officials said. Hawaii's 4,028-square-mile (10,430-square-km) Big Island accounts for less than a fifth of the state's tourism. State data show that in the first three months of 2018, 16 percent of the $4.81 billion visitors spent in Hawaii came from the Big Island, less than half of the levels seen on the islands of Oahu and Maui.
In just the past week, people on the Big Island have felt over 1,200 earthquakes. The smallest are about magnitude 1.0. The biggest: A 6.9-magnitude. So what's causing all the tremors? Scientists say one reason is the built up pressure of magma traveling through Kilauea's east rift zone. Currently, there are two direct paths for the magma to travel from the volcano: One to the southwest and the other to the east, toward the Leilani Estates. As the magma and gases travel from the volcano through these paths toward the surface, they build up pressure on the rocks, causing them to shift and crack. The USGS says this built up pressure and movement of the magma causes most volcanic earthquakes. The frequency and strength of these earthquakes have also varied throughout the past week. Some of them have been hours apart, while others have been separated by less than a minute. According to the USGS earthquake chart, the consistent magnitude has been around a 2.0. There have been larger ones seen though in the past week - like the 6.9-magnitude earthquake on Friday, which was felt throughout the Big Island to some parts of Oahu. In fact, that quake was the largest seen in the state in nearly four decades.
Lava and gas continued to erupt from Kilauea volcano across a remote, rural neighborhood on Hawaii Island, and by Monday had destroyed 35 structures, including at least 26 homes, authorities said. By Monday, the emission of lava from multiple fissures had become minimal, the U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said, but "this is likely only a pause in activity; additional outbreaks or a resumption of activity are anticipated as seismicity continues in the area." Lava flows had advanced slowly northward throughout Sunday in the Leilani Gardens neighborhood, in large part fueled by a fissure that had been spewing lava fountains to heights of more than 200 feet, the U.S. Geological Survey said. A lava flow from that crack moved about 0.6 miles to the northeast before it stopped. Video published by the USGS showed asphalt roads being slowly consumed by a moving wall of molten rock, with thick red-hot lava glowing underneath, as black smoke billowed upward. USGS helicopter footage showed a river of ash cut through lush tropical forest, with a lava fountain that had been active Sunday billowing red hot molten rock around the charred landscape. At least 10 fissures have developed since Kilauea began a fresh eruption Thursday in the Leilani Estates neighborhood, located about 25 miles east of the summit of Kilauea, one of the world's most active volcanoes and Hawaii Island's youngest. Ground cracks have begun to emerge crossing Highway 130, west of the eruptions, the USGS said. Fluctuating and intermittent eruptions are likely to continue along the volcano's eastern shoulder, known as the lower East Rift Zone, and scientists warned that although Leilani Estates remains at highest risk, other areas in the region could also fall at risk if the eruption continues. There was no way to say for certain how long the current eruption would continue. In 2014, lava spilled out from the volcano and authorities worried for months that the town of Pahoa would be inundated. In the end, the supply feeding the lava shut down and it never inundated the town; just one home was destroyed. In 1990, lava flows of up to 80 feet buried the town of Kalapana, known for its historical sites and black sand beaches. A church, a store and roughly 100 homes were destroyed. The last time Kilauea opened up fissures in a residential area was in 1960, just outside the town of Kapoho. Lava fountains in that eruption were higher - up to 330 feet. When the crack began to seal up, the lava fountain that resulted was even taller. Efforts to divert the lava away from homes during that event failed. Kapoho managed to survive for two weeks after the first eruption, but its fortunes changed when less viscous lava spilled out. In the end, Kapoho was destroyed. An estimated 1,800 people live in the affected area of the current eruption, and many have sought housing in shelters, with friends or on surrounding islands. Hawaii County officials have allowed some residents to return to their homes briefly to retrieve items and pets left behind during the sudden evacuation Thursday. Lava flows have been disrupting electricity and water supply, and officials were working to build a temporary bypass water line to restore water to Kapoho, Vacationland and Pohoiki. Residents were not permitted access to the nearby neighborhood of Lanipuna Gardens, as levels of toxic gas coming from the eruptions were deemed too hazardous to allow for safe entry to the area. Other areas in the region may come under risk if the eruption progresses. Some schools reopened Monday, including those in the town of Pahoa. But four others remained shut.
Lava erupting from Hawaii's powerful Kilauea volcano has now destroyed at least 26 homes, more than double the previous figure, officials announced Sunday, citing grim findings from an aerial survey by the fire department. Scientists reported lava spewing more than 200 feet into the air. More than 1,700 people have evacuated, and some said they may have to stay away from their homes for a long time. There was no initial word of anybody injured. Earlier in the day, officials had said the lava destroyed nine homes. Big Island civil defense officials also said Sunday that two new fissures, or vents where lava has broken through the ground, have emerged in the Leilani Estates subdivision. "There's more magma in the system to be erupted. As long as that supply is there, the eruption will continue," U.S. Geological Survey volcanologist Wendy Stovall said. As many as 10 fissures have opened up since the eruption started late Thursday afternoon, scientists said, adding that one of those vents has gone dormant. Among the people whose homes were destroyed: an elementary school teacher and single mother of two. The woman, Amber Makuakane, told The Associated Press her three-bedroom house was right across from a fissure that had opened Friday. She says there was some steam rising from all parts of the yard initially but everything looked fine. She also said she knew the volcano's risks, but wanted to stay close to her family. Her children's ages are 6 and 4. A fellow teacher started a fundraising page to help Makuakane and her family rebuild. Some people who evacuated will be allowed to return to pick up pets, medicine and vital documents, officials said.
Sputtering lava, strong earthquakes and toxic gas jolted the southern part of the Big Island of Hawaii as magma shifted underneath a restless Kilauea volcano. The trifecta of natural threats forced stressed out residents to evacuate and prompted the closure of parks and college campuses on Friday. Multiple new vents, from which lava is spurting out of the ground, formed in the same residential neighborhood where molten rock first emerged Thursday. At midday, a magnitude 6.9 earthquake struck - the biggest of hundreds of quakes this week and the largest to strike the state in 43 years. Residents were also warned to watch out for dangerous levels of sulfuric gas. Hawaiian Volcano Observatory spokeswoman Janet Babb said the earthquakes reflected the volcano adjusting to the shifting magma. "The magma moving down the rift zones, it causes stress on the south flank of the volcano," Babb said. "We're just getting a series of earthquakes." She said scientists were studying whether the quakes would affect the eruption. The lava lake at Kilauea's summit crater dropped significantly, suggesting the magma was moving eastward toward Puna, a mostly rural district of forests, papaya farms and lava fields left by past eruptions. Officials ordered more than 1,700 people out of Big Island communities near the lava, warning of the dangers of spattering hot rock and high levels of sulfuric gas that could threaten the elderly and people with breathing problems. Two homes have burned. Julie Woolsey evacuated her home late Thursday as a volcanic vent, or an opening in the Earth's surface where lava emerges, sprouted up on her street in the Leilani Estates neighborhood. Lava was about 1,000 yards from her home, which Woolsey built on a lot purchased for $35,000 11 years ago after living on Maui became too expensive. "We knew we were building on an active volcano," she said, but added that she thought the danger from lava was a remote possibility. She said she thought it was remote even days ago when she began packing and preparing to evacuate. "You can't really predict what Pele is going to do," Woolsey said, referring to the Hawaiian volcano goddess. "It's hard to keep up. We're hoping our house doesn't burn down." She let her chickens loose, loaded her dogs into her truck and evacuated with her daughter and grandson. She's staying at a cabin with her daughter's in-laws. Local authorities held a community meeting with residents from lava affected areas Friday night at Pahoa High School. Two new volcanic vents, from which lava is spurting, developed Friday, bringing the number formed to five. State Sen. Russell Ruderman said he's experienced many earthquakes, but the magnitude-5.4 temblor that hit first "scared the heck out of me." Merchandise fell off the shelves in a natural food store he owns. When the larger quake followed, he said he felt strong shaking in Hilo, the island's largest city that is roughly 45 minutes from the rural Puna area. "We're all rattled right now," he said. "It's one thing after another. It's feeling kind of stressful out here." State officials didn't report damage to roadways. Hawaii County Acting Mayor Wil Okabe said the larger quake cracked a beam in a county gymnasium in Hilo, forcing workers to be sent home. Hawaii Electric Light said the jolt knocked out power to about 14,400 customers, but electricity was restored about two hours later. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park evacuated all visitors and non-emergency staff. The quakes triggered rock slides on park trails and crater walls. Narrow fissures appeared on the ground at a building overlooking the crater at Kilauea's summit. The University of Hawaii at Hilo and Hawaii Community College both closed campuses to allow students and employees to "attend to personal business and priorities." Authorities already had closed a long stretch of Highway 130, one of the main arteries through Puna, because of the threat of sulfuric gas. At Leilani Estates, where lava was pushing through cracks in the earth, some residents still wanted to get home. Brad Stanfill said the lava was more than 3 miles (5 kilometers) from his house but he was not allowed in because of a mandatory evacuation order. He was frustrated because he wanted to feed his rabbits and dogs and check on his property. One woman angrily told police guarding Leilani Estates that she was going in and they couldn't arrest her. She stormed past police unopposed. Leilani Estates has about 1,700 residents and 770 homes. A nearby neighborhood, Lanipuna Gardens, which has a few dozen people, also has been evacuated. Kilauea has been continuously erupting since 1983 and is one of five volcanoes that make up the Big Island. Activity picked up earlier this week, indicating a possible new lava outbreak. The crater floor began to collapse Monday, triggering earthquakes and pushing the lava into new underground chambers. The collapse caused magma to push more than 10 miles (16 kilometers) downslope toward the populated southeast coastline. Residents have faced lava threats before. In 2014, lava burned a house and destroyed a cemetery near the town of Pahoa. Residents were worried it would cover the town's main road and cut off the community from the rest of the island, but the molten rock stalled. From 1990 through 1991, lava slowly overtook the town of Kalapana, burning homes and covering roads and gardens. Kilauea hasn't been the kind of volcano that shoots lava from its summit into the sky, causing widespread destruction. It tends to ooze lava from fissures in its sides, which often gives residents at least a few hours' warning before it reaches their property.
Just an hour after a large tremor Friday morning, a 6.9-magnitude earthquake shook the Big Island on Friday afternoon, sending people fleeing from buildings and community centers and increasing concerns about new eruptions in Puna's Leilani Estates. The temblor was the largest in Hawaii since 1975, and did generate small tsunami waves around the Big Island, triggering sea fluctuations that ranged from 8 inches in Hilo to 16 inches at Kapoho, Hawaii County Civil Defense said. Dr. Charles McCreery, director of the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, said the small tsunami waves did not pose any threat but underscore the importance of vigilance as the Kilauea eruptions continue. The latest quake happened about 12:30 p.m., and was centered on the south flank of Kilauea, about 16 kilometers southwest of Leilani Estates and at a depth of 5 kilometers, the USGS said. After the quake, about 14,000 customers lost power in Kaumana, Hilo and Puna. Power has since been restored. The temblor came about an hour after a 5.4 magnitude shook the Big Island on Friday morning, which was followed by a fifth eruption spewing lava into Leilani Estates. The temblor at about 11:30 a.m. was also centered near the south flank of Kilauea - about 18 kilometers southwest of Leilani Estates, the USGS reported. Neither of the quakes generated tsunami, but they were both felt across the Big Island from Hilo to Kona and as far away as Oahu. The quakes added to an already busy day for the Big Island, which is now grappling with six separate fissures in Leilani Estates. On Friday morning, authorities said the situation in the Puna subdivision continues to get more dire. And Hawaii County Civil Defense authorities have issued this ominous warning to households that choose not to heed mandatory orders to leave: "First responders may not be able to come to the aid of residents who refuse to evacuate." The six eruptions, the latest of which started just five minutes after the large quake, are threatening several homes - and authorities have confirmed that at least two structures have sustained significant damage. Dramatic images from the subdivision show lava bubbling up from the ground and soaring more than 100 feet in the air. Residents described the sound of the eruptions as haunting - "hissing" and "like a freight train." So far, oofficials have confirmed breakouts on Mohala Street, Kaupili Street, Makamae Street and near Kahukai Street and Leilani Avenue. Civil Defense said all Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens subdivision residents are required to evacuate immediately. In a news conference, Mayor Harry Kim said though the eruptions are mainly affecting this particular region of Puna, surrounding areas should also be on alert. "In regards to activity of lava itself, yes, we're gonna monitor it very carefully and be ready to evacuate or identify different areas," Kim said. In addition to the large quake, the Big Island continues to get rattle by smaller tremors. Resident Ikaika Marzo said he could feel several quakes shake the area in the early morning hours before the second eruption around 1:30 a.m. The new eruptions Friday come in the wake of the volcano's first fissure in the community on Thursday afternoon.
Hawaii residents have been left without power following a horrifying preliminary 6.9 magnitude earthquake as the Kilauea volcano continues to erupt and plague the island. Hawaii Electric Light stated that over 14,000 customers had lost power on the Big Island following the earthquake that shook the US state. Rhea Lee-Moku, a spokeswoman for the company, said: "It's kind of like being on some kind of carnival ride if you will. We are being shaken all the time. "We've had some unofficial reports there have some damage to some buildings." Hawaii Electric Light added that it had restored power to roughly half of its customers that had been left in the dark following the tremors. The US Geological Survey stated the earthquake occurred at 12.32pm local time on Friday. The natural disaster was initially reported at a 6.0 magnitude. However, it was later upgraded to 6.9 before being downgraded again to 5.8. The US state's County Civil Defence Agency declared that the tremors were not big enough to trigger a tsunami. Ms Lee-Moku iterated that the company's workers were being kept away from areas with intense levels of sulphur dioxide. She explained the company does not have the "protection available" to enter the regions. The spokeswoman went on: "When you are exposed to that level of SO2 in the Leilani Estates area, you need more protection than we have available to us." Volcanic eruptions can lead to high levels of sulphur dioxide plaguing nearby areas.Exposure to high levels of the gas can be life threatening. Hawaii's County Fire Department has stated "extremely high levels of dangerous sulfur dioxide gas" had been detected in certain evacuation areas following the series of Kilauea eruptions. Reports of a fifth eruption from the active volcano have emerged. Kilauea is the most active volcano on the island of Hawaii. In total there are five volcanoes on the US state. The initial eruption on the island came after the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory had declared that levels of volcanic activity in Kilauea had been dropping.
A 6.9-magnitude earthquake rattled the Big Island of Hawaii on Friday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, following a recent volcanic eruption. The quake hit roughly 10 miles southwest of Leilani Estates, the USGS reported. It was centered near the south flank of Kilauea volcano, which erupted Thursday and continued to spew lava into Friday. "This last one was scary," state Sen. Russell Ruderman of Keauu told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. "It starts rocking and keeps on going. It's very frightening. We're rattled." The seismic event -- reportedly Hawaii's biggest earthquake since the 1970s -- was preceeded by reports of a 5.4-magnitude earthquake that struck roughly 11 miles southwest of the same area, the USGS said. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said the earthquake wasn't powerful enough to cause a tsunami, according to the Associated Press. No tsunami threat or advisory is in place, they added. Maj. Jeff Hickman, spokesman for the Hawaii National Guard, told the Associated Press that neither the Hilo airport nor the highways were damanged amid the quake. The Hawaii Department of Transportation previously tweeted that there had been no reported damage to roadways. "Crews are continuing to conduct inspections and are monitoring conditions," the agency said. The earlier Kilauea volcano eruption forced officials to issue evacuation orders to more than 1,700 residents. Fire officials warned that they had detected extremely high levels of sulfur in the area and reiterated that people should leave until the threat had passed. Asta Miklius, a geophysicist with the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, told the Associated Press that the volcano has "quite a bit of magma in the system." "It won't be just an hours-long eruption probably, but how long it will last will depend on whether the summit magma reservoir gets involved," Miklius said. "And so we are watching that very, very closely."