To date, at least 23 fissures have formed along a northeast-southwest line in the rift zone, most in the Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens neighborhoods. At the summit, a large explosion happened at around midnight on Friday night into Saturday, sending a plume of volcanic gas some 10,000 ft. A first serious injury occurred: a man was sitting on a third-floor balcony at his home when a “lava spatter” – projectile molten rock – hit him. More, on Saturday, a key coastal road used as the main escape route for residents was in danger of being cut of.
The lava had entered the ocean. Lava flows reaching the ocean threatens to release toxic gases. That also prompted warnings of laze, clouds of hydrochloric acid and steam embedded with fine glass particles formed when hot lava hits ocean water. “We have no way of knowing whether this is really the beginning or toward the end of this eruption,” said Tom Shea, a volcanologist at the University of Hawaii. Thousands of people have left their homes in some areas of the island until now and new evacuations are required. Hundreds of homes were destroyed. However, Hawaii’s business community has stressed that many tourist activities remain open, as do the island’s airports.