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Moving lava sparks immediate evacuations in Hawaii

29 May 2018

A fast-moving lava flow from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano forced yet more residents out of their homes, with an emergency alert calling for immediate evacuations.

The Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency said residents should avoid the area due to the increase of volcanic gases and vog emissions in areas downwind of the vents.

FEMA's David Mace says the lava breached the property overnight and is within 200 metres of one of the capped wells, Nine News reports.

Hawaiii County Civil Defense said that lava had reached the Puna Geothermal Venture Plant, covering a well.

Haze from the Kilauea volcano eruption in Hawaii blanketed the Marshall Islands 3,700 kilometers (2,300 miles) away on Sunday, May 27, as officials warned it would continue moving west.

Moving lava sparks immediate evacuations in Hawaii
Moving lava sparks immediate evacuations in Hawaii

There are now more than 20 fissures associated with Kilauea, and they've fountained lava that has poured across the Hawaiian landscape and destroyed 41 homes and dozens of other structures.

On Friday afternoon, firefighters went door to door in Leilani Estates urging resident to leave as the lava advanced toward the neighborhood. About 2,200 acres have been covered in lava since the volcano started erupting. A family friend shot photos of the home as a wall of lava advanced and as fire claimed the property.

"From one second to the next, no transition", she said.

Around 37 structures are already "lava locked", meaning homes are inaccessible, and people who do not evacuate may be trapped by lava flows. "We monitor for hydrogen sulfide and sulfur dioxide on a continuous basis", Kaleikini said.

Since Hawaii's Kilauea volcano began a once-in-a-century-scale eruption on 3 May, authorities have shut down the plant, removed more than 60,000 gallons of flammable liquid, and deactivated wells that tap into steam and gas deep in the Earth's core.

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Moving lava sparks immediate evacuations in Hawaii