Lava from volcano flows into Hawaiian neighborhood

Agencies prepare for possible eruption from Kilauea Volcano

Agencies prepare for possible eruption from Kilauea Volcano

About 1,500 Hawaii residents have been ordered to evacuate after Kilauea Volcano erupted Thursday.

One resident, Ikaika Marzo, told The Honolulu Star-Advertiser that lava fountains were shooting 150 feet into the air about 5:30 p.m. and that lava had spread over a 200-yard-wide area behind a house in Leilani Estates.

Hawaiian County Civil Defense said steam and lava poured out of a crack in Leilani Estates, which is near the town of Pahoa on the eastern side of the Big Island.

USGS had raised the volcano alert in the area from a watch to a warning, reporting that "new ground cracks" were discovered in the late afternoon.

The USGS says areas downslope of the erupting vent are at risk of being covered by lava. The Hawaii County Civil Defense said Keaau Community Center were also to be opened for additional shelter needs.

The eruption occurred after a series of earthquakes on the island over the last couple of days, including a 5.0 tremor at about 10:30am on Thursday (local time), the U.S. Geological Survey reported on its website.

According to Express, Tina Neal, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientist-in-charge, said: "It appears that ground shaking from the quake caused rockfalls in the Pu'u O'o crater on Kilauea Volcano's East Rift Zone, which resulted in a short-lived plume of reddish ash rising above the cone".

"It was like if you put a bunch of rocks into a dryer and turned it on - a lot of earth and pressure and fire just moving around", said.

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Residents of that impacted area, some 1,700 people, were under mandatory evacuation after the burst from Kilauea, one of the most active volcanos in the world.

The officials had been warning residents all week that they should be prepared to evacuate.

In his emergency declaration the governor noted the current flow was showing similar characteristics to a 1960 eruption in the Kapoho area that "caused significant damage to public and private property in the lower Puna region" of the county.

The National Park Service has closed the east rift zone of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park as a result of the seismic and volcanic activity.

An official added the zone is home to about 10,000 people, and was a "voluntary evacuation".

"I want to be close, but not too close".

It urged residents to prepare emergency plans and to stay informed for updates. The affected area is part of the Big Island's East Rift Zone.

Following an quake of magnitude 5.0, and a number of minor tremors in eastern Hawaii on Thursday, which threatened the eruption of Kilauea - the region's most active volcano - officials ordered emergency evacuations.

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