Hawaii Declares State Of Emergency As Massive Volcano Erupts
Red molten lava continued to spurt into the sky Friday morning hours after Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano erupted forcing officials to issue widespread evacuation orders to more than 1,500 residents, Fox News reports.
The Hawaii County Civil Defense confirmed around 6:40 a.m. that a third breakout happened on Kaupili Street, which resulted in two house fires.
HawaiiNewsNow reports that a fourth eruption from a new fissure in Kilauea’s east rift zone opened Friday morning, as authorities continued to urge Leilani Estates residents to get out while they still can.
The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory also said that active volcanic vents were erupting on Makamae and Mohala streets. Civil Defense said all Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens subdivision residents are required to evacuate immediately.
In a news conference, Mayor Harry Kim said though the eruptions are mainly affecting this particular region of Puna, surrounding areas should be on alert.
“In regards to activity of lava itself, yes, we’re gonna monitor it very carefully and be ready to evacuate or identify different areas,” Kim said. “Right now the evacuation areas are in Lanipuna Gardens and Leilani Estates.”
Aerial drone footage showed a line of lava snaking its way through forest land and bubbling up on paved streets near the town of Pahoa on the Big Island. Elsewhere, lava spurted into the sky from cracks in the road.
— Hawaii News Now (@HawaiiNewsNow) May 4, 2018
The activity continued early Friday with the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory confirming reports of eruptions from volcanic vents on at least two streets.
— 大石鈴華 (@Kimi_Aloha808) May 4, 2018
#BREAKING #LeilaniEstatesEruption: First look at the two homes that caught fire after a third eruption broke out at Kaupili Street and Leilani Avenue in the #LeilaniEstates evacuation zone. More details as they develop on @hawaiinewsnow #HInews #HawaiiNews https://t.co/pRQf3zGTue pic.twitter.com/V212PIOUlj
— Mileka Lincoln (@MilekaLincoln) May 4, 2018
All residents in the area were ordered to evacuate immediately.
After a week of earthquakes and warnings, the eruption that began Thursday threw lava into the sky from a crack in a road and sent another line of molten rock snaking through a forest. On Friday, the activity continued, with reports of lava spurting from volcanic vents on two streets. Areas downhill from the vents were at risk of being covered up.
“It sounded like if you were to put a bunch of rocks into a dryer and turn it on as high as you could,” he told Honolulu’s KHON-TV. “You could just smell sulfur and burning trees and underbrush and stuff.”
There were no immediate reports of injuries, however more than 100 people were staying in shelters.
Gov. David Ige activated the National Guard to help with evacuations and provide security for about 770 structures left empty by residents fleeing the area.
One homeowner in the Leilani Estates subdivision, which is near the town of Pahoa on the eastern side of the Big Island, said he knew when he bought a house near a volcano that this day might eventually come.
“But I had no idea the reality of [it],” he told Hawaii News Now. “It’s sinking in now, for sure.”
Posted by Andrew Hara on Thursday, May 3, 2018
He added: “My family and my pets are safe. That’s what I really care about. I mean, the rest is just stuff. We can make more money and get more stuff. My family is safe. That’s the main thing.”
Fire officials warned that they’ve detected extremely high levels of sulfur in the area and reiterated that people should leave until the threat has passed.
— IG @snapgiorgio (@awesnapp) May 4, 2018
“The best thing they can do right now is stay out of the area. It’s not a stable situation at all,” Talmadge Magno of Big Island’s Civil Defense told Hawaii News Now. “This is not over, it could escalate at any time. We don’t know how this is going to go.”
Kilauea has erupted periodically for decades. Most of its activity has been nonexplosive, but a 1924 eruption spewed ash and 10-ton (9-metric ton) rocks into the sky, leaving one man dead.
Puu Oo’s 1983 eruption resulted in lava fountains soaring over 1,500 feet (457 meters) high. In the decades since, the lava flow has buried dozens of square miles of land and destroyed many homes.
Our hearts, thoughts and prayers go out to everyone involved.