Published: Tue, May 08, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

Eruption of Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano Destroys at Least 26 Homes

Eruption of Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano Destroys at Least 26 Homes

The flow of lava intensified Sunday from ongoing eruptions at Hawaii Island's Kilauea volcano, and molten rock is pouring from fissures that opened overnight, farther from the original eruptions. The number of destroyed homes has jumped to 26, according to the latest reports.

The CDC also said about 1,500 homes were evacuated in a small rural area since fissures began spewing out steam, lava and life threatening sulfur dioxide. A flow of lava has advanced northward for about 0.6 miles.

The eruption of Hawaii's famed Kilauea volcano spewed lava hundreds of feet into the air, destroying dozens of homes in a subdivision on the eastern edge of Big Island and forcing more than 1,700 people from their homes.

As of 3:30 a.m. local time Monday (9:30 a.m. ET), 161 people were housed at two evacuation centres on the island, the Hawaii Civil Defence Agency said.

See some scary footage of lava shooting out of the ground and flowing over in the streets (below).

As lava inundates the heavily forested area, organic matter burns and releases methane.

Tesha "Mirah" Montoya, 45, said the threat of toxic fumes wasn't enough to make her family evacuate, but the tipping point was the earthquakes.

Eruptions of lava fountains continued throughout the night. "I didn't realize until this morning, I've got one pair of shoes". Now we're beginning to see video of the lava flows as they happened - like this one, taken by a time lapse camera on the Leilani Estates properties, according to a storm-watching social media account. "You must be prepared to leave areas if required", it said in a statement. Another neighborhood, Lanipuna Gardens, remains under a mandatory evacuation order because of the high levels of toxic gases in the air.

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It is one of five now active volcanoes on the archipelago's Big Island.

Jordan Sonner has been staying with a friend since she fled her home right outside Leilani Estates.

The Kilauea volcano has been erupting nearly continuously since 1983, according to the US Geological Survey.

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

Most people in the area don't have policies with natural disaster coverage, insurance agent Marc Dixon told CNN affiliate KITV.

It is not unheard of for strong earthquakes _ even those bigger than magnitude 6.9 _ to follow volcanic activity.

The USGS's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory issued a notice in mid-April that there were signs of pressure building in underground magma, and a new vent could form on the cone or along what's known as the East Rift Zone.

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