lava-shooting ground fissures, destroys nine homes -

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Monday, 7 May 2018

lava-shooting ground fissures, destroys nine homes

At least nine homes have been destroyed on Hawaii’s Big Island as scalding lava and earthquakes continue to menace communities.
At least nine homes have been destroyed on Hawaii's Big Island as scalding lava and earthquakes continue to menace over communities struck by the natural disaster, officials said.
Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim announced the number of destroyed homes climbed Sunday as the threat level continued to rise on the island.
Roughly 1,700 residents have fled the Leilani Estates section of Big Island since a 6.9-magnitude earthquake struck last Friday, a day after the Kilauea volcano erupted and caused lava-spewing cracks in the ground that emit poisonous gas.
"I have no idea how soon we can get back," resident Todd Corrigan told the Associated Press, adding one of the so-called vents opened just a few blocks from his home on Friday.
Lava and fires have shot out of the ground fissures, which continue to bring chaos to the Big Island communities. (Handout/Getty Images)
Matters got worse late Saturday when the latest two vents — sometimes stretching several hundred yards — opened in Leilani Estates, Hawaii's Civil Defense Agency said, bringing the total to nine.
The magma-spewing fissures are coming from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano, which has continuously erupted for the last 35 years, and scientists are unsure where or when they might tear up the ground.
"Vents continue to open up, so we lost a few more structures," Talmadge Magno, Hawaii County Civil Defense administrator, said Saturday night to CNN affiliate KHON. "I'm pretty happy that we did evacuate the whole neighborhood and unfortunately some people are still in there and we need to get them out. The gases are still high."
A plume of ash rises out of the ground earlier this week from the earthquakes and opened vents. (U.S. Geolgogical Survey via AP/AP)
Footage captured Saturday showed molten lava and flames spitting out of the fissures — splashing close to homes.
Hundreds of residents have sought refuge throughout Big Island, sleeping in their cars or finding vacation rentals until they can return to Leilani Estates or the neighboring Lanipuna Gardens area.
Small tremblers rattled families initially hesitant to leave their Leilani Estates homes, located in the predominantly rural Puna district.
Eruption Update for May 6, 2018 at 800 AM. Two new fissures, 9 homes destroyed, elevated sulphur dioxide levels. #mayorharrykim
— Mayor Harry Kim (@MayorHarryKim) May 6, 2018
"I felt like the whole side of our hill was going to explode," Tesha "Mirah" Montoya told the AP. "The earthquake was what made us start running and start throwing guinea pigs and bunnies in the car."
She, her husband and daughter initially wanted to stay in the home they built 20 years earlier, despite concerns about toxic steam emitted from the vents — especially harmful to the elderly.
Residents were first told they might be able to head back into the area late Saturday when the eight vents recorded by the Hawaiian Volcanoes Observatory ebbed.
The vents have released steam that scientists warn can be poisonous, especially to the elderly. (Handout/Getty Images)
But they were pulled back once the two new fissures opened up.
Resident Shane Turpin, who posted video of what he thought was the eighth fissure, told KGMB the shooting lava poses serious threats to the area.
"Some people are definitely going to be losing some stuff today if this keeps going," he told the channel late Saturday. "It's moving fast, I watched it go about two poles, this thing is 100 yards long ... it's going."

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