Hawaii volcano eruption destroys 26 houses

Desiree Steele
May 7, 2018

The seismicity on the lower east rift zone had declined and the tilt had slowed down so that indicates that the intrusion has stalled or paused.

"Aftershocks from Friday's magnitude-6.9 quake continue and more should be expected, with larger aftershocks potentially producing rockfalls and associated ash clouds above Puʻu ʻŌʻō and Halemaʻumaʻu crater", the spokesperson said.

The US Geological Service (USGS) warned on Saturday that additional fissure outbreaks with spatter and lava flows were likely, although the locations could not be predicted with a high degree of certainty.

As of early this afternoon, the toll of Kilauea volcano's wrath is nine destroyed houses in the rural subdivision, where at least nine active vents have been confirmed.

According to officials, 26 residences have been lost to volcanic activity.

Updated at 3:50 p.m.

Authorities say molten rock from the volcano's fissures on the southern part of Hawaii Island has been spewing out since last Thursday.

Traffic backups on Highways 130 and 132 are due to Leilani resident-only screening. Under Emergency Provisions, any looting or vandalism will be treated as a felony.

Cherie McArthur wondered what would become of her macadamia nut farm in Lanipuna Gardens, another evacuated neighbourhood near Leilani Estates.

Civil defense officials warned residents near Kilauea that "extremely high levels of unsafe sulfur dioxide gas", which can irritate the eyes, nose, throat and lungs, had been detected in the air.

Breathing large amounts of sulfur dioxide can result in burning of the nose and throat, and breathing difficulties.

The volcanologist declared: "The gases can cause quite a bit of respiratory distress as well as irritation of the eyes especially if people already have respiratory issues like asthma".

"First responders require special masks and training not available to private citizens", the department said in a statement Sunday.

"That number could change", Hawaii County spokeswoman Janet Snyder said.

About 240 people and 90 pets spent Saturday night in shelters, the American Red Cross said.

Stephen Clapper was one of hundreds of residents to flee the threats from the volcanic eruption.

Petra Wiesenbauer, owner of Hale Moana Hawaii Bed and Breakfast, who was evacuated on Friday evening with her two teenage children and pets, said: "Now we are just trying to make plans for the future". She's staying at a cabin with her daughter's in-laws.

"I wanted to be around a lot of people", Hale said. Volunteers there have kept evacuees safe, well-fed and have plenty of hot coffee ready in the mornings.

He stated: "It is more than just a loss of a home".

"At this point, I've got what I've got on my back", she said.

"I also understand that I live in lava zone one".

Meantime, Leilani resident Shirley Doctor was able to return briefly to her house of 38 years Sunday. "There's a couple cracks that's close by that still have steam coming out", Marzo told CNN affiliate KHON. "It is devastating ... however I've come to phrases with it". But when he saw lava tear through the streets near his Leilani Estates home, he knew he needed to leave.

By Sunday, eight vents that had spurting lava into the air in Leilani Estates quieted down and were releasing only steam and gas.

Though some residents remain in Leilani Estates with lava hunters documenting the destruction, most evacuated, taking whatever prize possessions they could.

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