Hawaii lava: Residents told to escape torrents

Posted June 01, 2018

Fast-moving lava is advancing to another part of a rural Big Island district where Kilauea volcano is erupting, officials said Wednesday in advising those residents to evacuate.

The tweet comes after Hawaii's Kilauea volcano began to spew lava in recent days.

Contingency plans have been made for a possible helicopter evacuation of up to 1,000 residents in a coastal area south of the fissures should their last exit route, be blocked by lava or become unsafe due to gaping cracks, County of Hawaii officials said. Its red-hot lava flows have destroyed dozens of homes on Big Island, with 2000 people being told to leave their properties, the BBC reports.

The eruption at Kīlauea is continuing unabated today, with lava flows from Fissure 8 that moved at ~550 meters (600 yards) per hour - and that's pretty fast for a lava flow.

"Residents of Kapoho Beach Lots and Vacationland are advised to evacuate". The lava that is now coming to the surface is the hottest and most fluid to date.

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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.

Authorities are advising residents to minimize exposure to those elements to avoid physical irritation.

Active eruptions, including fountains, are sending Pele's hair (thin strands of volcanic glass) and volcanic emissions downwind. The facility produces roughly one-quarter of the Big Island's daily energy supply.

Fissures No. 6, 13 and 22 have been the most active, flowing to the southeast into the ocean, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Lava has isolated the Puna Geothermal Venture power plant and destroyed some buildings.

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'This is the hottest lava that we've seen in this eruption. About 300 people are staying at three American Red Cross emergency shelters, while hundreds more are staying with friends and family.

Before the lava reached the well, plant spokesman Mike Kaleikini told the news agency Hawaii News Now that there was no indication of the release of the poisonous gas hydrogen sulfide - the greatest fear should lava hit the wells. The biggest impacts might be vog, but that has been a persistent issue on the island for decades.

Video and images shared by the agencies showed massive yellow bulldozers breaking up the black rock, which is 20 to 30 feet thick in some spots.

Ash is still erupting from Kilauea's summit, Ball added, in addition to seismic activity and gas output. Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists have observed what are called pyrocumulus clouds, which could possibly turn unstable and cause thunderstorms, over the Kilauea fissure system in Leilani Estates.

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