Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano is spewing red hot lava into a residential subdivision, where approximately 1,700 residents have been ordered to immediately evacuate.
Officials expressed concern that the volcano might erupt after over 250 earthquakes shook the coast in the span of only 24 hours.
At the time of publishing, the mandatory evacuations affected Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens Subdivisions, located in the lower East Rift Zone of the Kilauea volcano, and all homes from Luana Street to Pohohiki Road, according to the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.
“Shortly before 5 p.m., lava was confirmed at the surface in the eastern end of the subdivision,” the website stated.
Those evacuated were asked by the Hawaii County Civil Defense to seek shelter at a local community center. The agency released the following information via their website:
Due to the eruption, the following are issued:
*An emergency proclamation is now in effect
*All residents in Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens Subdivisions are required to evacuate.
*The Pahoa Regional Community Center near the new Pahoa Regional Park is open for shelter.
*Keaau Community Center is to be opened for additional shelter needs.
*Residents evacuating should ensure to bring your emergency evacuation supply kit including necessary medicine, food, and necessary items for your comfort if possible.
*The intersection at Highway 132 and Pohoiki Road is now closed to allow evacuation efforts to proceed.
*Puna Geothermal Venture is executing their emergency plan and starting to shut down operations at this time.
*Avoid travel to the evacuation area for everyone’s safety.
Read on for further jaw-dropping photos and videos of the natural phenomonen:
“Residents of Hawaii’s Leilani Estates were ordered to evacuate after the Kilauea volcano erupted and spewed lava into the residential area,” @73buzz_news tweeted, along with the above video.
“Lava can be seen spewing from a vent in Hawaii’s Leilani Estates community on the Big Island after eruption of Kilauea volcano,” @RightWingAngel tweeted. “The county has ordered evacuations for all of Leilani Estates, which according to the last Census has a population of 1,500.”
Explosive ash can be seen ripping through the air in the video below. “OMG my island is on fire from Lava spewing from Kilauea volcano…,” @Lisa96744 tweeted:
“This mesmerising footage shows the lava lake overflowing in Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano ?,” @BBCWorld tweeted:
Footage from the volcano on April 19 can be seen below:
Geologists warned of the eruption following the plethora of earthquakes:
“Tia-erlecia Keliihoomalu shared this map on Facebook prior to today’s eruption event in #LeilaniEstates, @theWeatherboy tweeted.”Blue marks indicate where cracking ground had occurred as a result of the underground magma intrusion in the area prior to 2:20pm today. #volcano #Kilauea #magma #Hawaii”:
@MilekaLincoln sent out a warning May 2, a day before the eruption: “@CivilDefenseHI’s Emergency Operations Center in Hilo is now running 24 hours a day in preparation for the possibility of an eruption along the East Rift Zone of Kīlauea Volcano.”
You can read the official emergency declaration by the County of Hawaii by clicking here.