Hawaii volcano lava could spur more evacuations

Hawaii volcano lava could spur more evacuations

Hawaii volcano lava could spur more evacuations

Lava from the new fissures spewed high into the air along with toxic gas, and the area continues to be impacted by earthquakes, including a 3.5 magnitude quake that struck the island on Saturday. An 18th fissure also opened over the weekend, but since no lava was seen spewing from it, the authorities only documented the 17 active fissures. In particular, the Pu'u 'Ō'ō vent, where lava is exposed, has erupted nearly continuously since January 1983.

The Hawaii National Guard has ordered residents in the coastal Lower Puna area, on the eastern tip of Big Island, to prepare to leave.

Lava flowing from giant rips in the earth on the flank of Hawaii's Kilauea volcano threatened highways on Monday, raising the possibility that officials will order thousands more residents to evacuate before access routes are cut off.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory also shockingly detailed that explosions on the island had launched lava "more than 100 feet into the air" as the situation on the island continues to worsen. Since there was no lava, it's not considered an active fissure. The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory says a lava flow has now formed and is slowly moving toward the ocean, which is about two miles (3.2 kilometers) away.

"It's down to one gravel road, that's what also pushed us over the edge", said Rob Guzman, who with his husband Bob Kirk chose to leave their home in the Kalapana Seaview Estates subdivision around 3.5 miles (5.6 km) south of Leilani Estates.

Most of the lava outbreaks have occurred in and around the Leilani Estates neighborhood, where molten rock has burst through the ground, destroying more than two dozen homes and resulting in evacuation orders for almost 2,000 people.

The new fissures over the past two days only add to the concern already building that a violent explosion may be yet to come.

This mesmerising video was shot at the 17th fissure to open up on the island, located near Pahoa.

Two shelters opened nearby to house families and pets.

"We've got all the warning signs we need", Steve Brantley, the deputy scientist-in-charge at the HVO, said in an interview with the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

The latest cracks reported on Monday bring to 19 the number of fissures caused by the volcano eruption.

Plant workers last week as a precaution removed 50,000 gallons (189,265 liters) of a flammable liquid stored at the site.

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