Residents riding out Hawaii lava told to escape torrents

Residents riding out Hawaii lava told to escape torrents

Magno said lava also crossed a highway not far from a geothermal energy conversion plant.

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

Volcanic gas emissions remain high from the fissure eruptions, scientists said.

The Hawaii Civil Defense Agency said the wells "are stable and secure", and Hawaii Governor David Ige said that the plant was "sufficiently safe" from the lava that has ploughed through backyards and streets and burned dozens of homes.

Hawaii County said lava destroyed the local electric utility's equipment on the highway, which knocked out power to Vacationland and Kapoho Beach Lots neighborhoods toward the coast.

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 3 May.

On Wednesday U.S. Geological Survey officials warned fast-moving lava threatened to tear through more homes in the already ravaged communities of Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens.

The lava is bubbling from a particularly violent fissure - or volcanic crack in the Earth's surface - called Fissure 8.

"You are at risk of being isolated due to possible lava inundation", the agency advised the public, referring to the area where two highways intersect.

More news: Trump jabs Dems after Obama-era immigration photos go viral

"The impact of this is absolutely devastating", CNN correspondent Scott McLean reported from the scene as hot lava poured into the ocean.

Lava from Fissure 8 managed to advance 50 yards in an hour, according to a tweet from the US Geological Survey.

Then there's the danger of vog, or volcanic smog.

In addition to volcanic particles that can cause eye, skin and respiratory irritation, residents were warned to be on the lookout for sharp, thin strands of volcanic glass fibers known as "Pele's hair", a reference to the Hawaiian goddess of fire.

The National Weather Service said the wind could carry ash to other locations. Meanwhile, the main summit crater has periodically erupted in clouds of volcanic ash that create breathing difficulties and other problems for residents living downwind.

As of 6:15 a.m., the lava flow was about 2 miles west of the Four Corners intersection, said USGS volcanologist Jessica Ball.

The month-old eruption of Kilauea, one of the world's most active volcanoes, followed an eruption cycle that had continued nearly nonstop for 35 years.

Molten rock trapped at least one person who was rescued by authorities.

Related Articles