More Evacuations Advised as Hawaii Lava Approaches

Lava fountains from a fissure in Kīlauea Volcano's lower East Rift Zone

Lava fountains from a fissure in Kīlauea Volcano's lower East Rift Zone

In 2014, a 7-mile section was recut to allow for evacuations when lava threatened Pahoa.

Hawaii County's civil defence agency said that lava was quickly approaching Highway 132, prompting the closure from Lava Tree State Park to Four Corners on Tuesday. In the late afternoon, a new flow lobe began branching from the south side of the fissure 18 flow approximately 1.5 miles upslope from the flow front.

A separate flow was about a half-mile from Highway 137 in the vicinity of Ahalanui Park, also known was the "hot pond".

Rivers of lava flowed toward the ocean on Hawaii's Big Island over the weekend, forcing officials to knock on doors and urge residents holding out in two evacuated neighborhoods to flee right away. Currently, the only road in and out of that area is Government Beach Road.

More than 70 homes have been destroyed due to the lava flows, CNN reported Tuesday evening.

Magno said county officials are in discussions with the Federal Emergency Management Agency about housing for residents who have been displaced by the lava, "whether its long range, or maybe even some new housing developments for these folks, affordable housing developments".

USGS shared a photograph on Facebook of a pyrocumulus cloud above Kilauea's Fissure 8, and said there was another such cloud above the volcano's Lower East Rift Zone.

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There were several small earthquakes at Kilauea's summit Wednesday, where the vent inside the volcano's Halemaumau Crater has grown along with a series of explosive eruptions that have sent rock and ash thousands of metres into the sky.

Volcanic gases rise from the Kilauea lava flow that crossed Pohoiki Road near Highway 132, near Pahoa, Hawaii, U.S., May 28, 2018. It got worse in 2008, when the summit eruption started.

Lava has also reached the walls of the Puna Geothermal Venture Plant, and has covered one of the wells.

Gov. David Ige told reporters that the power plant was "sufficiently safe".

The Israeli-owned 38 megawatt plant typically provides around 25% of electricity on the Big Island, according to local power utility Hawaii Electric Light.

Gary Banks, 66, said he packed belongings in his Subaru and bugged out of his home, which stands on 16-foot piers on the shoreline in Vacationland.

Osborne said about half the students were evacuated from their homes, adding the disaster has brought the students and faculty closer together.

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