Three people trapped by lava airlifted to safety near Hawaii volcano
06 June, 2018, 00:50 | Author: Edward Snyder
Eight more people were issued citations Saturday for loitering in a disaster area as Hawaii's Big Island continues to deal with lava flow from the Kilauea volcano.
At the same time, most of the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, one of the island's biggest tourist attractions, remains closed indefinitely due to hazards from ash and volcanic rock ejected from the summit crater, and accompanying earthquakes that have damaged park facilities.
There have been 500 quakes in the summit area of Kilauea in the last 24 hours, the highest rate ever measured at the summit area, according to Brian Shiro, supervisory geophysicist at the USCG Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. Fissure 8 is feeding a channel transporting lava to the northeast along Highway 132 and east to the ocean entry in Kapoho Bay. As of early Tuesday, lava burned down at least 159 homes, CBS News correspondent Carter Evans reports. But the Hawaii Civil Defense Agency said the fallout will affect the volcano and Pahala areas, and cautioned about the possibility of aftershocks.
The flow of lava especially from fissure eight has cut off Puna Kapoho and several residents had to be airlifted to safety.
Hawaii Civil Defense Service officials said they went through the neighborhood to warn residents this was their last chance to evacuate before their final escape route was cut off by lava.
Scientists say lava from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano has covered a total for 8 square miles (20 square kilometers).
Almost a dozen people were left stranded in an area cut off by lava on Sunday.
Kilauea has been erupting for the past four weeks, destroying dozens of homes and prompting evacuations from those who live near the volcano.
When asked at a news conference Monday about the number of evacuations, he said he didn't have a good estimate because up to 80% of the houses in some areas are vacation rentals.
But there's also danger in what's known as a laze - a deadly combination of steam, hydrochloric acid and fine glass particles (dubbed Pele's hair) - created when the lava hits the water.
Hawaiʻi Island police have arrested a motorist after he disregarded and sped through a traffic control checkpoint on Government Beach Road just north of the intersection with Hwy. He faces charges that include refusing to evacuate and reckless driving. They are often also referred to as "flammagenitus" or "fire clouds", the USGS said in the post.
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