Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano has erupted, spewing hot lava and rock into a residential area and forcing evacuations.
CNN reports that the volcano is located on Hawaii’s Big Island. The eruption occurred Thursday afternoon and particularly affected Leilani Estates, a community comprised of about 1,700 people.
Residents in the area have posted videos of rock and lava spewing into the air from the active volcano.
The Red Cross and other humanitarian organizations have opened shelters and are providing help to those under evacuation orders.
The volcanic eruption follows a series of earthquakes which shook the eastern side of the Big Island. Residents had been warned that Kilauea might become active following these quakes.
One resident of Leilani Estates said that he knew when he bought a home near a volcano that there was a danger of it becoming active one day, “But I had no idea the reality of [it],” he told Hawaii News Now. “It’s sinking in now, for sure.”
According to Fox News, officials said they are unsure how long the eruption could last, but are warning residents to take precautions and follow all evacuation orders.
“The best thing they can do right now is stay out of the area. It’s not a stable situation at all,” said Talmadge Magno of Big Island’s Civil Defense. “This is not over, it could escalate at any time. We don’t know how this is going to go.”
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Publication date: May 4, 2018