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USGS Warning: Do not try to roast marshmallows over erupting Hawaii volcano

01 June 2018
USGS Warning: Do not try to roast marshmallows over erupting Hawaii volcano

Hawaii County officials are telling some residents to "evacuate immediately" or risk being isolated by molten lava that is quickly moving into residential areas.

The lava flows are unrelenting and unpredictable.

Fast-moving lava from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano forced officials to close part of a highway on Tuesday, and they warned that sharp, thin strands of volcanic glass fibres carried by the wind could injure eyes and lungs.

Just hours later, the flows were traveling down Highway 132. That one was less than a mile away from Highway 137, the USGS said.

The lava crossed onto the land occupied by Puna Geothermal Venture (PGV), according to the US Geological Survey, having destroyed dozens of nearby houses in the past few days. The United States Geological Survey has a simple advice for you: just don't.

Hawaii County Civil Defense Administrator Talmadge Magno told Hawaii News Now that he could "see it coming."

There's still a potential for lava to cut off all access to the Lower Puna area, which would trigger the helicopter evacuations that officials have been planning.

The order comes four weeks after the first outbreak happened in Leilani Estates.

Lava also has covered two wells at a geothermal plant.

Local residents fear an explosive emission of deadly hydrogen sulfide and other gases should wells be ruptured.

The eruption at Kīlauea is continuing unabated today, with lava flows from Fissure 8 that moved at ~550 meters (600 yards) per hour - and that's pretty fast for a lava flow.

They were able to guide him out of the area on foot using a back way through Nohea Street.

Kris Burmeister says he's seen his Leilani Estates neighborhood go from a lush jungle to a moonscape. Each day brings some sort of geologic phenomenon, including laze, blue flames, vog, ash clouds, ballistic blocks, splatter bombs, sky-high lava fountains, ash plumes, and more than 2000 earthquakes. "They need to know their escape routes", he said.

Leilani Estates resident Steve Gebbie said he lost his home to lava Sunday night.

At that rate, the lava, which forced the evacuations of residents along roads north of Highway 132, covered nearly a half-mile in 80 minutes, the Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency said.

Keau said she's struggling to explain what happened to her son.

"We've really been trying to clear up some misconceptions and tell people Hawaii is open for business".

Petra Weisenbauer is also reeling from disaster whose end is nowhere in sight.

One of the eruptions was so powerful it shattered the glass in her windows.

Scientists believe that volcanic activity can be a precursor to a major eruption, similar to the Kilauea eruption in the mid-1920s.