Volcano Eruptions Trigger Massive Fires, Home Evacuations

May 04, 2018May 04, 2018

New eruptions in Kilauea's east rift zone early Friday morning sent lava roaring over 100 feet into the fair. Officials claim that two homes have been damaged from lava creeping into a subdivision, and many more homes are expected to be damaged as further eruptions cause lava to flow further outward and into neighborhoods and streets. 

According to Hawaii News, the Hawaiin volcano Observatory has claimed that active volcanic vents were erupting onto Makamae and Mohala streets. Certain subdivisions — totaling hundreds of homes  — have been ordered to evacuate immediately. There is no time to spare, claim officials, and those near areas where lava could flow need to leave as soon as possible. 

During a news conference, Harry Kim, the mayor, claimed that eruptions are mainly affecting a particular region of Puna. But this doesn't mean that surrounding areas shouldn't be on alert. 

"In regards to the activity of lava itself, yes, we’re gonna monitor it very carefully and be ready to evacuate or identify different areas," Mayor Harry Kim said. "Right now the evacuation areas are in Lanipuna Gardens and Leilani Estates."

According to sources, the opening phases of fissure eruptions are dynamic and uncertain. It is certainly not possible currently to tell when and where new vents may occur.  In the latest update, that areas downslope of an erupting fissure or vent are at risk of lava inundation. Currently, certain subdivisions appear to be at the greatest risk. 

"My family is safe, the rest of the stuff can be replaced," remarked a resident. "When I bought here 14 years, I knew that this day would eventually come. But the reality is sinking in now."

According to CNN, cracks in Kilauea volcano's rift zone, an area of fissures miles away from the summit, erupted on Thursday and early Friday, thereby spurting lava in Leilani Estates, a community of about 1,700 people near the Big Island's eastern edge. 

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