Hawaii’s erupting volcano shows ‘no sign of slowing down’
Fiery lava that’s still gushing from Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano has now wiped out 26 homes, according to officials.
Molten rock has been spewing like fountains from volcanic vents on the Big Island since Kilauea began erupting Thursday.
“There’s no sign of slowing down,” Talmadge Magno, Hawaii County’s civil defense administrator, told NBC News on Sunday. “We had some pauses yesterday, but there’s a lot of magma underground.”
At least 1,700 residents have been evacuated from Lanipuna Gardens and Leilani Estates, where a new fissure opened Sunday night.
Some evacuees from Leilani were allowed to briefly return for pets, medication and to check on their homes.
“My house is right in the middle,” said Jeremy Wilson, whose home was surrounded by fissures steaming with toxic gases.
Officials said 26 homes in Leilani were destroyed after being engulfed by red-hot magma. No injuries have been reported.
Lava has spread about 387,500 square feet surrounding the most active fissure on the island but the rate of movement is slow.
Still, there’s more to come.
“There’s more magma in the system to be erupted,” US Geological Survey volcanologist Wendy Stovall warned. “As long as that supply is there, the eruption will continue.”
She said fissures in the neighborhood grew overnight from eight to as many as 10.
On Friday, the area was rocked by a 6.9-magnitude earthquake — the largest in the area since 1975, according to the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.
Kilauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes, has been erupting continuously since 1983.
With Post wires
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