Hawaii volcano erupts, spewing lava

The Pacific island state's governor signed an emergency proclamation releasing disaster funds to the Big Island in the eruption's wake.

Hawaii volcano erupts, spewing lava

World Bulletin / News Desk

The US state of Hawaii's Kilauea volcano erupted Thursday, causing lava to spew out of ground fissures in residential areas and prompting thousands of people to flee.

Local news footage showed streams of lava snaking through a forest and The Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency reported "steam and lava emissions from a crack in Leilani Subdivision in the area of Mohala Street" following the blast.

Residents of that impacted area, some 1,700 people, were under mandatory evacuation after the burst from Kilauea, one of the most active volcanos in the world.

In addition to the obligatory evacuations, many areas fell under voluntary evacuation zones, affecting some 10,000 people, according to a local official.

US Geological Survey authorities of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory unit were both on the ground and headed into the air to assess the eruption, which followed some 100 small earthquakes in recent days and began around 4:45 pm local time (0245 GMT Friday), according to the agency.

Earlier, at 10:30 am, a larger 5.0-magnitude earthquake south of the Puu Oo volcano cone triggered rockfalls and potential collapse into a crater on the volcano, according to USGS.

Big Island resident Janice Wei told AFP she felt "a big shake underneath my feet" and then said immediately after she saw a giant pink plume of smoke.

"We've been waiting for big movement from the crater, after so many small earthquakes," she told AFP.

Using his drone, area resident Jeremiah Osuna captured video footage of the red-hot lava flow, describing it as a "curtain of fire."

"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 television station KOHN.

Following the eruption authorities warned of subsequent "lava inundation," fire, smoke, and additional earthquakes.

The agency said those downwind of the dissipating plume "may experience a dusting of ash," warning of "potentially lethal concentrations of sulfur dioxide gas" in the zone as well as methane blasts that could propel large rocks and debris in adjacent areas.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 04 Mayıs 2018, 10:03