Almost 2,000 People Evacuated Amid Ongoing Hawaii Volcano Crisis

Residents of Hawaii's Big Island are being evacuated as the lava from Kilauea volcano's eruption continues to spread.


Image via Getty/Mario Tama


Hawaii's Big Island is still facing the catastrophic after-effects of the eruption of Kilauea volcano as lava continues to burn through nearby neighborhoods, enveloping homes, cars, and everything in sight.

CBS This Morning reports that residents of Leilani Estates in Pahoa, more than 25 miles from Kilauea, have received an emergency evacuation notice to leave their homes until further notice. So far, roughly 1,700 residents have evacuated, but some are still unwilling to leave their homes. As the lava continues to spread, many residents are uncertain as to whether they will even have homes to return to. So far, 26 houses have been destroyed, CNN reports.

Civil defense administrator Talmadge Magno, an eight-year chief ranger of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, told CBS, "The eruption progressed a few more extensive flows. It seems like there's a lot of magma underground, and there's no sign of [it] slowing down."

In Leilani Estates, it's reported that at least 10 fissures have opened up, some spewing lava over 200 feet in the air. Although much of the lava appears to have cooled or crusted over, the molten edges continue to creep forward, slowly covering more land. In addition to burning through homes and communities, authorities say residents must be cautious of the toxic smoke emitted from lava. The sulfur dioxide produced from smoking lava can be deadly, and residents who have yet to evacuate are at risk of being trapped in "hot zones" where gas levels are dangerously high. 

The eruption at Kilauea is the latest natural disaster to strike the Big Island, as over the weekend, citizens were faced with a series of intense earthquakes. One had a magnitude of 6.9, the largest in Hawaii's history in over 40 years.

As the lava continues to spread, there's little that firefighters can do, and at this time, evacuation is the main priority for Hawaiians in Leilani Estates.

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