When most Americans heard that the Kilauea volcano was erupting again, cliche images filled their minds. Yet this is an unusual eruption, with lava flowing underground and emerging in fissures to form long lines of magma and fire. The destruction is moving slowly, but the threat for those in the area is still high and evacuations continue.
Some of those who have fled left behind homes and cars that are being consumed by the flow. 35 homes have been destroyed. More than 1,700 people have evacuated the remote neighborhood on Hawaii.
New footage has emerged of the lava overtaking a parked Ford Mustang. The images show just how much force the lava flows have behind them.
“Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice,” the Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency said in an alert. The lava is one obvious concern, but the volcano is also releasing toxic gases.
Residents of a second area, Lanipuna Gardens, were barred from returning home on Monday due to deadly volcanic gases.
“A new fissure opened Sunday night in the Leilani Estates area some 12 miles from the volcano, prompting a cellphone alert for residents to leave homes to avoid sulfur dioxide gas,” The Daily Mail writes, “which can be life threatening at high levels.”
The first evacuees were from a neighborhood named Leilani Estates. Some of those residents were allowed to go home on Sunday, briefly.
“My house is right in the middle,” said Wilson, a 36-year-old social worker. He wasn’t able to get to his house. He stopped when it appeared there might be a fissure opening beneath the road to his house, which had steaming cracks across its surface.
“Eruptions of lava and gas were expected to continue,” DM adds, “along with aftershocks from Friday’s 6.9 magnitude earthquake, the largest in the area since 1975, according to the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.”
No one is certain about what will come next, or even how long the current conditions will continue.
Here’s a second video that shows the slow pace of the lava.