Hawaii officials warn of more damage from eruption


Aton says residents may be allowed back in to pick up medicine or care for pets if sulfur dioxide readings come down to safe levels.

Eight vents have been reportedly formed since Thursday. The Big Island is home to Kilauea, one of the world's most active volcanoes. Most residents were evacuated, but some of them refused to leave their homes.

"I felt like the whole side of our hill was going to explode". She says that made her start running, and then she threw her guinea pigs and rabbits in the vehicle.

Ms Montoya, her husband and daughter do not know how long they will be away from the three-story octagonal house they built almost 20 years ago from a patch of "raw jungle".

Residents about the Big Island have been utilised to watching magma fly a couple feet in to the atmosphere.

Kilauea began spewing lava into residential areas on Thursday after a series of earthquakes over the preceding week.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory says scientists aren't able to forecast exactly where the lava will appear. And, of the remaining five, some are releasing steam and gas while others remain dormant.

Lava began spewing into the sky through fissures in the ground in the Leilani Estates neighborhood on Thursday. The persistent activity resulted in the level of the lava lake dropping significantly, indicating the magma was pushed into newly formed chambers. A Lanipuna Gardens, which has a few dozen people, also has been evacuated.

But the major concern is the air quality with the eruptions spewing risky levels of toxic sulfur dioxide gas, creating what officials say is "an immediate threat to life".

Homes and buildings have been destroyed as lava burns through the countryside. Each fissure is several hundred yards (meters) long. The two most recent vents opened near Makamae and Leilani, and on Kahukai Street, the update said.

Tina Neal, the scientist in charge of the U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, warned distressed residents at a community meeting late Friday that eruptions could last longer than the ones from last week, and earthquakes and aftershocks could continue for days, even weeks.

The fissures are vents where lava is spurting out of the ground into the air. At least two homes in the subdivision caught fire.

On Friday, a magnitude-6.9 quake struck the area as magma shifted through the volcano. Starting around 11 a.m. on Friday, the island experienced a flurry of earthquakes, culminating in the massive magnitude 6.9 tremor. The USGS is maintaining an evacuation order for about 1,700 residents.

Officials say they have no idea when the eruptions will stop.

The island was also struck by a magnitude-6.9 natural disaster - 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 risky levels of sulfuric gas.

The eruption has also forced officials to close down a major tourist destination, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The quakes triggered rock slides on trails and crater walls.