Lava from Kilauea volcano on Hawaii's Big Island has destroyed 35 structures, including at least 26 homes, and the total number of fissures formed has gone up to 12.
Last week U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said lava from the Kilauea volcano is moving underground and is leaking in residential areas in the Leilani Estates – a subdivision in the Puna District.
An evacuation order was given by the authorities after a 5.0-magnitude earthquake hit the area last Thursday. Till now, more than 1700 people have been evacuated and they are currently taking shelter at community centers or on surrounding islands.
Authorities have also urged tourists to avoid Leilani Estates, where toxic sulfur dioxide gas has engulfed the surrounding areas.
Moreover, as the lava burns forested area, organic matter releases methane, which can get trapped in small pockets beneath lava flows and can explode later, according to U.S. Geological Survey volcano scientist Wendy Stovall.
Kilauea is one of the world's most active volcanoes and last week the crater floor of the Puu Oo vent, which is a volcanic cone in the eastern rift zone of the mountain, collapsed, pushing the magma more than 10 miles downslope toward the southeast coastline.
Areas like Nanawele Estates, Leilani Estates and the coastal area of Kapoho are likely to be affected by the volcanic eruption.
Internet users have shared videos and pictures of the natural calamity on various social media platforms. Check out some of them here:
Just met Upamanyu Datta, 35, and his wife Mohor, 32, at the Hilo airport, who are visiting from DC and said they were walking near the Chain of Craters in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on Friday when the 6.9 magnitude earthquake hit the Big Island. These are their pictures: pic.twitter.com/lhkRiKSfmb— Michelle Broder Van Dyke (@MBVD) May 7, 2018
Another shot which gives the perspective of how real it is for the residents in Leilani Estates. Gut wrenching and sad on so many levels. The House next to this location still had people grabbing personal possessions or waiting it out!! Moments later the spatter height doubled and probably did some serious damage. Evacuation time!! #staysafe #leilaniestates #tephra #eruption #kilauea #prayforpuna
Since May 3rd, Hawaii’s most active volcano, called Kilauea, has been spewing out lava and molten rock on a residential area called Leilani Estates, prompting evacuations and destroying up to 26 homes. The eruption has also been providing us with some stunning and terrifying pics pic.twitter.com/Y3Jq7FrK3A— Jim Rucker (@chicojimj) May 7, 2018
The destruction continues in Leilani Estates. The amazing roar is indescribable, haunting and gut wrenching. An inch closer could have taken a turn for the worst. This spatter is going up at least a couple hundred feet! Hot winds with poisonous gases and the echo of Pele cannons through Leilani Estates, this is just the beginning of a pretty serious eruption. If the deflation at Halema’uma’u continues we will see more changes and chaos for the residents of Hawaii. Please send prayers and positive thoughts for the residents in Puna. ?#leilaniestates #fissureeruption #hawaiivolcanoes #kilauea #typicaldayoff #pohoiki #evacuate #madampele #unreal