The American Red Cross opened two shelters to accommodate evacuees from the subdivisions of Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens, located in the Puna district on the Big Island. It remains unclear how many people were impacted by Thursday’s evacuation order but The Associated Press, citing 2010 census numbers, said Leilani Estates has a population of about 1,500.
Dramatic videos captured near the subdivisions showed red lava and steam bursting through cracks in the ground, both on roadways and winding through a forest.
Resident Ikaika Marzo told Hawaii News Now that he saw “fountains” of lava “topping 100 to 125 feet” in the area.
#BREAKING: A drone captured the lava inching its way towards Leilani Estates.— Hawaii News Now (@HawaiiNewsNow) May 4, 2018
Emergency sirens will be sounded by civil defense across Hawaii Island.
New fissure opens in Leilani Estates on the Big Island of Hawaii.— Jennifer Myers (@JenMyersFox4) May 4, 2018
This video was taken just moments ago by my best friend who lives on the island... he said the fissure is making 'a loud wooshing sound' and is spewing lava at least 20 feet into the air.
Video credit: Jeff Wise pic.twitter.com/H56kllrdof
#Lava from #Kilauea#Volcano reached the surface Late in the afternoon today. A fissure ~150m (492ft) long erupted spatter and intermittent bubble bursts for about 2 hrs. Lava traveled only a few m (yards) from the fissure. #HVO staff are on the ground assessing & monitoring 24/7 pic.twitter.com/GXaNwvSLK4— USGS Volcanoes (@USGSVolcanoes) May 4, 2018
Gov. David Ige (D) activated the Hawaii National Guard and urged residents in other parts of Puna to stay vigilant. Local officials also cautioned residents to be ready to leave.
“We are telling people [in the area] to be prepared for immediate evacuation,” Hawaii County spokeswoman Janet Snyder told Pacific Business News. Up to 10,000 people could be affected by the volcanic threat, the paper reported.
Hawaii County Civil Defense is on high alert on a 24-hour basis for possibility of eruption in lower Puna. All areas bordering East Rift Zone at high risk for eruption. #mayorharrykim Click for details: https://t.co/KAq2rGhvpL— Mayor Harry Kim (@MayorHarryKim) May 4, 2018
Thursday’s eruption occurred just hours after an earthquake, with a preliminary magnitude of 5.0, rattled the Big Island. The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said the quake “caused rockfalls and possibly an additional collapse” of Puu Oo, a crater on the Kilauea volcano that’s been crumbling since Monday. A large cloud of pink ash rose into the air from the crater.
Janet Babb, a geologist with the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, explained to NPR earlier this week that Puu Oo’s collapse had forced magma to flow underground, triggering the hundreds of earthquakes that have shaken the island in the past few days.
The earthquakes have caused cracks to appear in the ground, raising the possibility of lava eruptions. Such an event could happen “quickly” and would be “nearly impossible to predict,” Babb said.
The latest on evacuations on the #BigIsland of #Hawaii triggered by the #KilaueaVolcano at the top of the hour on your favorite @npr station or device. Cracks like these have begun ejecting lava according to local reports. @NPRNewsNow#nprnewscast#nprnightshift (USGS photo) pic.twitter.com/UmMd7fiKbr— John Stempin (@johnstempinNPR) May 4, 2018
Additional reporting by HuffPost’s Carla Herreria.
- This article originally appeared on HuffPost.