Hilo, HI -
An emergency alert late Sunday was issued to residents on Hawaii’s Big Island after authorities said an eleventh crack—or fissure—opened up in the Leilani subdivision near the Kilauea volcano.
Hawaii News Now reported that a cellphone alert was issued at about 7 p.m. local time, telling residents to “go now” because the “eruption is progressing.”
Lava erupting from the Kilauea volcano has destroyed 26 homes and spewed lava hundreds of feet into the air, leaving evacuated residents unsure how long they might be displaced.
Among the people whose homes were destroyed: an elementary school teacher and single mother of two. The woman, Amber Makuakane, told The Associated Press her three-bedroom house was right across from a fissure that had opened Friday. She says there was some steam rising from all parts of the yard initially but everything looked fine.
Authorities said homes in the Leilani Estates were decimated by molten rock, toxic gas and steam, which have been bursting through openings in the ground created by the volcano.
The Los Angeles Times reported that the sulfur dioxide gas near some of the fissures are at deadly levels.
“Areas downslope of erupting fissures are at risk of lava inundation. The general area of Leilani Estates remains at the greatest risk," the USGS said, according to the report. "However, as the eruption progresses, other areas of the lower east rift zone may also be at risk."
There have been more than 1,000 earthquakes the past week near the volcano, The Times reported.
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