Hawaii Volcano Spews Lava and Smoke Causing Residents to Evacuate

Aaron Brown
May 7, 2018

The U.S. Geological Survey says one of the new fissures has already stopped shooting lava. Neighborhoods downhill from the vents were at risk of being covered up.

"That number could change", Hawaii County spokeswoman Janet Snyder said.

Since Monday, several hundred earthquakes - a lot of them around magnitude 2.0 - have been recorded in the area. When it appeared, she freed her chickens, loaded her dogs into her truck and evacuated with her daughter and grandson.

As of early this afternoon, the toll of Kilauea volcano's wrath is nine destroyed houses in the rural subdivision, where at least nine active vents have been confirmed.

Sonner was at work this week when she heard that lava had erupted in her neighborhood.

"The magma moving down the rift zones, it causes stress on the south flank of the volcano", she said. "It's hard to keep up".

Professor Cronin says Aucklanders shouldn't be anxious about a chain reaction affecting volcanoes in New Zealand.

Leilani Estates resident Elizabeth Kerekgyarto wipes her brow while waiting in her auto to enter Leilani Estates to see the status of her home in Pahoa, Hawaii Island.

Cherie McArthur wondered what would become of her macadamia nut farm in Lanipuna Gardens, another evacuated neighborhood near Leilani Estates. But scientists said new vents could form, and it was impossible to know where. Residents were also warned to watch out for risky levels of sulfuric gas. Garnett said she took a carload of belongings to a storage unit but wasn't allowed to make a second trip back to get her animals. On Thursday, she shot video of the lava as it bubbled and splattered across a street about six blocks from her house.

Folklore says she resides in Kilauea, and Native Hawaiians aren't the one residents who carry her up. "It's just that roaring and unbelievable power of the lava bubbling up and spitting up into the air".

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

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Sonner's been staying with a friend since she fled her home. "And I'm enjoying life here, so you know, you put up with a lot of things here". No injuries or deaths have been reported.

The American Red Cross has opened two shelters at the Pahoa and Keaau Community Centers, where some evacuees have gathered while they await news about their homes.

Gov. David Ige said he's activated the Hawaii National Guard to help with evacuations and security.

Eight fissures have opened so far, the most recent one late Saturday, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reported at 9:40 GMT on Sunday. "We can say that these are areas where lava is making an appearance for the first time in a long time and it happens to be in the middle of a subdivision".

"There's extra magma within the system to be erupted".

Even though monitoring and predictions provided a heads-up, this eruption was still somewhat of a surprise.

"We're all rattled right now", he said.

After a week of earthquakes, authorities had warned residents to be prepared to evacuate because an eruption would give little warning.

One woman angrily told police guarding Leilani Estates that she was going in and they couldn't arrest her.

"As a realtor, I can tell you that people move here thinking it's paradise, and what they learn is that it's something different", said Jessica Gauthier, 47, who sells properties and manages vacation rentals on the Big Island.

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