New evacuations were ordered in Hawaii for several areas threatened by lava coming from Kilauea volcano.
Most of the residents of the Leilani Estates neighborhood were given until noon Friday to leave their homes and anybody who refuses risks arrest. At least 24 fissures have opened in the ground since the eruptions began a month ago. The number of evacuees in the three shelters on the island has nearly doubled in the last few days. The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory says lava from several fissures continues to move through Leilani Estates and nearby Lanipuna Gardens. Lava crossed at least two roads and shut down Highway 132, leaving Highway 137 and is now headed northeast toward the rural areas of Waa Waa and Four Corners. The lava was moving at a clip of 10 yards a minute.
Toxic gases are feared too. The air quality was affected by ash. Lava flowing into the ocean has created laze. Around 75 homes have been destroyed, including 20 over the last several days. “This is the hottest lava that we’ve seen in this eruption, even just a matter of 50 degrees centigrade makes a big difference in how quickly lava flows can move and how they behave once the magma exits the vent,” said USGS scientist Wendy Stovall. On Wednesday, Fissure 8 was seen spouting lava over 200 to 250 feet into the air.