Hawaii lava crosses key highway, destroys utility poles

Earth Observatory shows a network of lava fissures pouring towards the Pacific Ocean

Earth Observatory shows a network of lava fissures pouring towards the ocean

"Avoid touching it or getting it in your eyes", the Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency said.

Hawaii Army National Guard Major Jeff Hickman talks about a new vent, fissure 24, that opened up Sunday in Leilani Estates. The fissure produced a large spatter rampart more than 100 feet tall from fountains reaching 150 to 200 feet, the US Geological Survey said Sunday.

The lava is bubbling from a particularly violent fissure - or volcanic crack in the Earth's surface - called Fissure 8.

Eruptions from Mount Kilauea have continued for almost a month, with lava fountains as high as 200 feet feeding a northeasterly lava flow recorded as fast as 200 yards per hour. The agency shared pictures of the steaming black piles, noting that methane bursts were audible in the surrounding woods.

Lava has also destroyed more than 400 electric poles and other equipment, causing power outages, the utility Hawaii Electric Light reported.

There have been a total of 82 structures damaged from the lava so far, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

According to Snyder, there were 341 people checked in at evacuation shelters overnight, 290 at Pahoa Community Center, 44 at Keaau Community Center and seven at Sure Foundation Church in Hawaiian Paradise Park.

Conditions were not much better in neighboring Kau district.

Often, sulfur dioxide emitted from Kilauea creates volcanic smog, or "vog", so the USGS half-joked that a chemical reaction might occur between the sulfur-rich vog and the sugar-rich marshmallows.

On top of all that, the USGS said ash was still erupting intermittently from Kilauea's summit.

Meanwhile, ash explosions continue.

A fresh eruption from the summit's Halemaumau crater on Monday sent ash nearly 4600m into the air, said Maureen Ballard, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Honolulu.

At 8 a.m., Hawaii County Civil Defense issued a new message, saying "residents of Kapoho Beach Lots and Vacationland are advised to evacuate".

The most active of the five volcanoes that form the islands of Hawaii, Kilauea has been erupting almost continuously since 1983.

Hawaiii County Civil Defense said lava had reached the Puna Geothermal Venture Plant, covering a well.

The acreage covered by lava as of Friday night in Hawaii was 2,232 acres, officials said.

In this Saturday image from video released by the U.S. Geological Survey, lava sends up clouds of steam and toxic gases as it enters the Pacific Ocean.

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