No end in sight as volcano in Hawaii destroys 9 homes


"As long as that supply is there, the eruption will continue", U.S. Geological Survey volcanologist Wendy Stovall said.

The active volcano has been spewing super hot lava into residential areas for the past few days through small lava fissures emerging from the ground throughout the island. Volcanic eruptions can release potentially unsafe sulfur dioxide - and fire department personnel have detected high levels of the gas in the evacuation area, the civil defense agency said.

At least five homes were destroyed on Saturday, after lava shot out of cracks in the ground. The largest natural disaster so far was a magnitude 6.9 quake caused by the movement of magma underneath the volcano.

Leilani Estates is about 25 miles from Kilauea and close to 30 miles south of Hilo, a popular vacation destination. The fissures also spew out extremely high levels of sulphuric gas, which could be deadly to those with breathing and lung problems.

He monitored distant cameras arrange in his residence and stated his residence was nonetheless intact.

Authorities warned that the air quality remained troublesome and that the roads were still under very unstable conditions, and residents could be required to leave the area if conditions became more hazardous.

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

Eruptions of lava fountains continued throughout the night.

State Sen. Russell Ruderman said he's experienced many earthquakes, but the magnitude-5.4 temblor that hit first "scared the heck out of me".

About 14,000 customers of Hawaii Electric Light lost power immediately after the natural disaster.

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Officials at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, scene of a mandatory evacuation order Friday, were assessing roads and trails on Sunday as they weighed whether to reopen.

One of the world's most active volcanoes, it has been erupting since 1983.

One woman angrily told police guarding Leilani Estates that she was going in and they couldn't arrest her.

Hawaii County has ordered more than 1,700 people to evacuate Leilani Estates and neighboring Lanipuna Gardens.

Stovall says there is no indication when the lava flow may stop.

That eruption reached the outskirts of Kapoho village, just to the east of Leilani Estates, and a larger eruption in 1960 covered it completely.

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

The crater floor began to collapse Monday, triggering earthquakes and pushing the lava into new underground chambers. Hawaii Gov. David Ige said residents in the area were being sheltered at Pahoa and Kea'au community centers.

Kilauea hasn't been the kind of volcano that shoots lava from its summit into the sky, causing widespread destruction.

Almost 30 years ago, lava slowly covered an entire town, Kalapana, over the period of about a year.