More than 1,700 residents have been evacuated from a housing estate on Hawaii Island, and at least 30 homes have been destroyed after lava vents from the Kilauea volcano began opening nearby late last week.
The first fissure opened across a road at Leilani Estates, on the island’s eastern corner, last Thursday, May 3, spewing lava up to 50 metres (150ft) in the air. Residents were ordered to evacuate the area the following day as several more vents began to open, pushing lava out in several flows that have burnt and destroyed all in their path, including roads, power lines and homes.
The governor of Hawaii has declared a local state of emergency.
Here’s how it looked at the start:
And then got going:
By Saturday night it looked like 4th of July celebrations:
Volcanographer and resident Mick Kalber managed to capture this footage before he was evacuated on Friday.
And then he took to the air to capture the destruction from 900m (3000ft) – the minimum safe distance for choppers.
Here’s Kalber’s latest footage. He says noxious gases are hampering the work of first responders and have been deemed highly dangerous to anyone in the area.
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) says there have been intermittent lava eruptions up to 70m (230ft) high in the Leilani Estates subdivision on Sunday and new ground cracks were reported on Highway.
They’re mapping the fissures daily. By Sunday there were 10.
Some were quietening down as others became more active.
Observations of Kīlauea volcano’s summit revealed the caldera floor had subsided about 10cm (4 in) and the summit lava lake level in Overlook crater fell by about 128m (518 ft) below the crater rim since April 30. Rockfalls from the crater walls into the retreating lake were producing ashy plumes above Halemaumau crater.
Over the weekend about 152 magnitude-2 and magnitude-3 earthquakes occurred at depths less than 5 km (3 miles) beneath the summit area. Twenty-two magnitude 3 earthquakes were recorded ands are related to the ongoing subsidence of the summit area and beneath the south flank of the volcano.
There was a magnitude-6.9 earthquake on May 4 beneath the south flank of Kīlauea, among several strong quakes in the area.
— USGS (@USGS) May 4, 2018
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