Hawaii officials order residents to flee homes amid lava fears

Jun 01, 2018, 17:04
Hawaii officials order residents to flee homes amid lava fears

"We're going to have to say no, that's not safe". After weeks of scientific updates on the volcano, the U.S. Geological Survey took a lighter tone as it responded to a question on Twitter about whether it would be safe to roast marshmallows over volcanic vents.

Wendy Stovall said: 'Hawaii County Civil Defence made a decision to evacuate all of lower Puna to ensure that people would be able to get out'.

On Wednesday, Fissure 8 fueled a river of lava that traveled nearly a half-mile in 80 minutes, according to the Civil Defense Agency. The lava that is now coming to the surface is the hottest and most fluid to date.

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. Today, we can watch volcanic eruptions and their results up close using relatively cheap drones that can fly into craters and over lava flows to see what's happening. "It can't get hotter than where we are", Ms Stovall added. "I took a walk around my house, videotaped my house and pretty much said goodbye".

Rivers of lava flowed toward the ocean on Hawaii's Big Island over the weekend, forcing officials to knock on doors and urge residents holding out in two evacuated neighborhoods to flee right away.

Highlighting the urgency, authorities on Thursday morning called for new evacuations of the Vacationland coastal area as lava approached, warning of possible inundation.

The lava flow has destroyed more than 80 structures, up from 50 earlier in the week and authorities expect that number to rise. As lava rushed past the property, a USGS crew that was flying the drone used the aircraft to lead rescue teams to the stranded person.

The suspect allegedly assaulted, then pointed a firearm at the victim and his group, demanding that they immediately leave the area.

Civil defense officials have previously said about 2,000 residents in and around Leilani Estates were displaced at the outset of the current eruption, which began on May 3. Lava has already overrun the main road, Highway 132, leaving people in about 500 homes and vacation rentals with just one escape route left.

One new product of the fountaining lava this morning was Pele's hair, harmful fine strands of volcanic glass fibers that are so abrasive that they can scratch auto windshields if wiped away using windshield wipers. The strands can cause irritation and respiratory problems when it comes in contact with people.

Traditional Hawaiian beliefs say it depends on Pele, the volcano goddess who is said to reside in Kilauea.

Volcanic gas emissions remain high from the eruption.