Hawaii on Alert- Lava from Volcano's Eruption Destroys Homes

Hawaii on Alert- Lava from Volcano's Eruption Destroys Homes

Thousands of people have been forced to flee after a magnitude 6.9 quake shook Hawaii's Big Island, triggering the collapse of a coastal cliff and prompting fresh eruptions of a volcano that has been spewing lava near residential areas. A few others are releasing steam and gas while the oldest of the vents aren't doing anything.

Hawaii County has ordered evacuations for over 1,700 people living in Leilani Estates and neighboring Lanipuna Gardens.

► In the lower-east rift zone overnight Friday, activity slowed down and died at fissure number 6, but the area picked up activity on Saturday, creating two new fissure vents, bringing the total of eruptions up to eight. Hundreds of anxious residents on the Big Island of Hawaii hunkered down Saturday for what could be weeks or months of upheaval as the da.

Kilauea hasn't been the kind of volcano that shoots lava from its summit into the sky, causing widespread destruction.

Scientists forecast more eruptions and more earthquakes, perhaps for months to come, after the southeast corner of the island was rocked by a 6.9 tremor on Friday, the strongest on the island since 1975.

"This is a very fast moving-situation", Mayor Kim said.

Authorities cautioned sulfuric gas pouring out of the vents also posed dangers, particularly to elderly and people with respiratory problems.

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"My heart and soul's there", she said in a phone interview from a cabin on the north side of the Big Island, where the family had hunkered down. "It's part of my being".

Shane Turpin, a resident of Leilani Estates, posted a video to Facebook early Saturday morning showing what is believed to be the eighth large fissure, surrounded by flames. He monitored remote cameras set up in his home and said his home was still intact.

And evacuated residents have been told they won't be going home for some time.

"I was a critical care nurse for 37 years, so I understand the health implications and the dangers involved", McMillan said.

The volcanic instability at Kilauea, one of the world's most active volcanoes and Hawaii Island's youngest, began Monday under the eastern flank of the volcano, an area known as the East Rift Zone.

In 2014, lava burned a house and destroyed a cemetery near the town of Pahoa. But this flow stalled just before it reached Pahoa's main road.

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