More Evacuations Follow Fast Lava Flow

More Evacuations Follow Fast Lava Flow

More Evacuations Follow Fast Lava Flow

This animated image shows the lava flows from the Kilauea Volcano in the Leilani Estates neighborhood of Hawaii's Big Island on May 23, 2018.

The volcano in the southeastern region of Hawai'i Island began erupting more than three weeks ago, first with plumes of pink smoke and lava vents.

Fast-flowing lava rivers are oozing across Hawaii's Big Island, prompting officials to urge remaining residents in the Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens evacuation zones to flee immediately.

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.

They join about 2000 residents displaced due to lava flows and toxic sulphur dioxide gas emissions at the outset of the eruption almost four weeks ago further west, in and around the Leilani Estates community.

Kilauea rumbled back to life on May 3, marking the latest phase of an eruption cycle that has continued almost non-stop for 35 years.

Because there are so many active fissures right now, there's certainly no word on when any of the blocked roads might reopen and scientists aren't giving any prediction on when the eruption might end.

Gov. David Ige told reporters that the power plant was "sufficiently safe". Fissures are cracks around the volcano that open up and in many cases, spew lava.

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Twitter user Jay Furr got in touch with the USGS volcano crew to ask the pressing question, "Is it safe to roast marshmallows over volcanic vents?"

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.

As of Friday, there were 230 people in shelters, the agency said. Vog is a haze created when sulfur dioxide gas and other volcanic pollutants mix with moisture and dust. County officials say 75 homes have been completely covered by lava, and roads have been made impassable.

The eruption of Kilauea volcano, a major tourist attraction on the Big Island, has not affected flights in the area but its eruption is expected to affect tourism. "Also due to preventative measures, neither well is expected to release any hydrogen sulfide", it said.

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

The lava breached the property overnight.

Wind was carrying volcanic glass, gases, pollution and ash particles to other parts of the island.

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