May 20, 2018

Lava Destroys at Dozens of Homes on Hawaii's Big Island

08 May 2018, 01:23 | Rufus Hill

Hawaii volcano eruption: drone video shows Mount Kilaueu spewing lava

Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano erupts, forces hundreds to evacuate

Eruptions have mainly the region of Puna in the southern part of Big Island, spreading down from Kilauea, the most active Hawaii volcano. At least 31 homes and other structures have been destroyed.

Wendy Stovall, a volcanologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, predicts that the most recent fissures could spew out lava as high as 1,000 feet.

The crater floor began to collapse Monday, triggering earthquakes and pushing the lava into new underground chambers.

Active venting of lava and hazardous fumes continues between Mohala and Pomaikai Street. It was just one among the dozens to hit the area within 24 hours and was the most powerful quake to hit the island.

But officials had cautioned that while the lava flow was quiet, it wouldn't be for long.

Aerial photos published by NBC affiliate KHNL showed a river of lava surging through houses with tidy green lawns surrounded by rows of trees.

Eruptions of lava fountains continued throughout the night.

By Sunday morning on Hawaii, the overall number of total cracks that have at one point spewed or sputtered lava had risen to 10. There's no indication when this particular lava flow might stop or how far it might spread. On Sunday, a lava flow was moving away from Fissure No. 8 at significantly less than 1 miles per hour, Stovall said. 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. As the lava piled up and hardened it could clog other vents along the path. "There's a lot of lava or magma under the ground so eventually it's going to come up".

The activity will continue, Civil Defense Administrator Talmadge Magno said Friday.

Hawaii officials said the decimated homes were in the Leilani Estates subdivision, where molten rock, toxic gas and steam have been bursting through openings in the ground created by the Kilauea volcano.

Authorities near the residential area will determine what routes are safe to access and enter.

No injuries had been reported, but a state of emergency remains in effect on Big Island.

More than 1,700 people were evacuated from Big Island neighborhoods after the Kilauea volcano erupted Thursday.

"A collapse of the Pu'u" "O'o crater floor Monday afternoon on Kilauea Volcano's East Rift Zone has prompted an increase in seismicity and deformation along a large section of the rift neon, with seismicity now occurring as far east as Hwy 130". That means that in the area, ten have opened since last Thursday.

Kilauea has been continuously erupting since 1983 and is one of five volcanoes that make up the Big Island.

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". Although the natural disaster could be felt across much of the archipelago, the worst shaking occurred in an area with no neighborhoods or businesses.

The Hawaii Volcanoes National Park said on Twitter Saturday that "if volcanic and seismic activity remain at current levels", some areas of the park could reopen Sunday afternoon.

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