The Latest: Lava from Hawaii volcano destroys 5 homes

The Latest: Lava from Hawaii volcano destroys 5 homes
The Associated Press

PAHOA, Hawaii (AP) — The Latest on a volcanic eruption on the Big Island of Hawaii (all times local):

1:05 p.m.

Officials say lava spurting into a residential neighborhood on Hawaii’s Big Island has destroyed five homes.

Hawaii County spokeswoman Janet Snyder said Saturday that’s the total number of homes burned in the two days since Kilauea volcano began shooting lava out through vents in Leilani Estates.

The vents began opening in the mostly rural district on Thursday. There are now eight of them, though only two are active on Saturday. Each fissure is several hundred yards (meters) long.

Hawaii County has ordered evacuations for over 1,700 people living in Leilani Estates and neighboring Lanipuna Gardens.

Residents are also being warned to watch out for dangerous levels of sulfuric gas.

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10:50 a.m.

Lava is bubbling out of two vents as Kilauea volcano erupts in a residential neighborhood on Hawaii’s Big Island.

Hawaii County spokeswoman Kanani Aton says two of the eight vents that have formed since Thursday are actively spattering lava. A few others are releasing steam and gas while the oldest of the vents aren’t doing anything.

She says the vents are following a pattern of releasing steam and gas, then spattering lava and then releasing steam again before going quiet.

Hawaii County has ordered evacuations for over 1,700 people living in Leilani Estates and neighboring Lanipuna Gardens.

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10 a.m.

The U.S. Geological Survey says a total of eight fissures have opened as Kilauea volcano erupts and releases lava into a residential area on Hawaii’s Big Island.

The fissures are vents where lava is spurting out of the ground into the air. They began forming in the Leilani Estates neighborhood on Thursday.

U.S. Geological Survey geologist Janet Babb says there were eight by Saturday morning, two more than what was calculated the night before.

The lava has burned at least two homes. Hawaii County has ordered evacuations for over 1,700 people living in Leilani Estates and neighboring Lanipuna Gardens.

On Friday, a magnitude-6.9 earthquake struck the area as magma shifted through the volcano.

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6:30 p.m. Friday

Sputtering lava, strong earthquakes and toxic gas jolted the southern part of the Big Island of Hawaii as magma shifted underneath a restless, erupting Kilauea volcano.

The trifecta of natural threats forced stressed out residents to evacuate and prompted the closure of parks and college campuses.

Officials say two new vents where lava was spurting out of the ground formed in the same residential neighborhood where molten rock first emerged.

A magnitude 6.9 earthquake struck at midday. It was the biggest of hundreds of quakes this week and the largest to strike the state in 43 years.

Residents were also warned to watch out for dangerous levels of sulfuric gas.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park evacuated all visitors and non-emergency staff. The quakes triggered rock slides on trails and crater walls.

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