Hawaii county mayor Harry Kim talked with U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard during a community meeting to address concerns on Friday in Pahoa.
In this photo provided by the U.S. Geological Survey, red ash rises from the Puu Oo vent on Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano after a magnitude-5.0 natural disaster struck the Big Island, Thursday, May 3, 2018 in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
He said fountains of lava were shooting 150 feet into the air at about 5.30pm and lava had spread over a 200-yard-wide area behind a house in Leilani Estates.
Residents in Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens subdivisions, home to about 1,700 people, were ordered to evacuate after public works officials reported steam and lava erupting from fissures in the road.
As of noon Friday more than 200 people had taken up residence at designated shelters at Pahoa and Keaau community centers, according to the Red Cross. Two homes have been burned down.
Authorities have ordered at least 1,800 people ro evacuate in the areas close to the volcano, now mostly in the south.
The agency deployed geologists to the eruption site overnight to track additional activity that may occur, and other scientists are closely tracking the volcano's overall activity.
A key factor will be whether a magma reservoir at the summit starts to drain in response to the eruption, which has not happened yet, said Asta Miklius, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. "The seismicity is still there, the deformation is still there and the event is not over". "That's why they are reluctant to leave", she said.
About 1,700 residents have been ordered to evacuate their homes after an eruption of the Kilauea volcano on the Big Island.
The eruption was preceded by hundreds of small earthquakes in recent days.
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The latest series of earthquakes began on Thursday with a 4.6 magnitude quake, which shook the island's active volcano Kilauea. The two quakes were centered in nearly exactly the same location.
In this photo released by US Geological Survey, a plume of ash rises from the Puu Oo crater on Hawaii's Kilaueaa Volcano, Thursday, May 3, 2018 in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
The quake, although the most powerful on the island since 1975 according to CNN, was not as destructive as feared, authorities said.
"Today's been a challenging day for everyone", Neal said.
Elsewhere, lava spurted into the sky from cracks in the road. A second, 6.9-magnitude quake followed roughly an hour later. He then drove to his home in Keaau to find lots of items broken - picture frames, crystal - that were knocked off shelves.
Regarding the lava, he said: "I tell people - you just have to sidestep".
"You can't really predict what Pele is going to do", she said, referring to the Hawaiian volcano goddess.
"Sulfur dioxide gas can be so toxic and thick in some areas that it can be fatal, especially to those who have respiratory illnesses", Gabbard said.
Ige said he met people who were frightened and concerned about losing their homes and possessions. "I reassured them that the county, state and the federal governments are working together to do everything in our power to help them get through this, to ensure their welfare and safety, and to assure them that we are here for the long haul. Even during this frightening and unpredictable time - these residents are pulling together, donating food, water and time to care for their neighbors".
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