Kilauea Latest: 21 Homes Destroyed By Lava Flows

Hawaiians on volcano eruption watch as hundreds of earthquakes hit island in less than 72 hours.                       US Geological Survey

Although no significant lava flows have yet formed, additional outbreaks of lava, which can reach temperatures of about 2,100 degrees Fahrenheit (1,150 Celsius), were expected, the Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency said.

Hundreds of people were under an evacuation order on Friday (May 4) after the Kilauea Volcano on Hawaii's Big Island came to life, belching ash into the sky and spewing fountains of lava in a residential area, officials said. The natural disaster, one of dozens to hit the area in 24 hours, was the most powerful on the island since 1975, the US Geological Survey said.

Hawaii County officials said steam and lava poured out of a crack in the community of Leilani Estates, near the town of Pahoa on the Big Island.

The Hawaii Fire Department reported "extremely high levels of risky Sulfur Dioxide gas" in the evacuation area, according to the Hawaii Country Civil Defence Agency.

Kauahikaua said that the current seismic activity is similar to what preceded an eruption of Kilauea Volcano in the lower Puna district in 1955.

The lava lake at the summit has risen to an all-time high level: At its peak it spilled onto the floor of the crater, covering two-thirds of it with fresh lava.

He monitored distant cameras arrange in his residence and stated his residence was nonetheless intact. Most residents were evacuated, but some of them refused to leave their homes.

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

Lava set trees ablaze and threatened homes as gas spewed out of cracks in the ground. Starting around 11am on Friday, the island experienced a flurry of earthquakes, culminating in the massive magnitude 6.9 tremor.

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KHON reported that some viewers on the island of Oahu, about 200 miles away, felt the shaking.

Hawaii Electric Light said the jolt knocked out power to about 14,400 customers, but electricity was restored about two hours later.

Local officials closed volcano viewing areas while a portion of the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park was also closed.

Airport officials monitored the runways in Hilo for quake damage, and jetliners coming from the mainland carried extra fuel, so they could divert to Honolulu if the volcano becomes more active.

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.

Gary McMillan said his home is about 3,000 feet from one of the fissures in Leilani Estates.

Cherie McArthur wondered what would become of her macadamia nut farm in Lanipuna Gardens, another evacuated neighborhood near Leilani Estates.

One of the world's most active volcanoes, it has been erupting since 1983. Most of the time, the lava flows south toward the ocean, threatening nobody. She later confirmed that lava had covered her property.

The number of homes destroyed by lava bursting out of Hawaii's Kilauea volcano has climbed to five.

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