This Footage from Hawaii's Volcano Eruption Is Unreal
Lava and vapor spewed from cracks in the roads near the Kilauea volcano after it blew on Thursday.
Screenshot via Facebook user Jeremia Osuna.
Hours after a 5.0-magnitude earthquake rocked Hawaii's Big Island on Thursday, a volcano that had been threatening to erupt all week blew its top, shooting plumes of ash into the sky and sending streams of lava flowing toward two nearby residential areas. Hundreds of people in Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens were ordered to evacuate, but, thankfully, there were no reported injuries, the Washington Post reports.
At about 4:30 PM, lava and "white, hot vapor and blue fume" started to spew from cracks in the ground, sometimes spilling out onto residential roads, according to the US Geological Survey. While locals fled their homes, some stopped to whip out their cameras and record the scene—capturing some unreal, terrifying footage of what it's like to find yourself face-to-face with an erupting volcano.
According to the USGS, the eruption lasted for roughly two hours, finally coming to a close at about 6:30 PM local time. Geologists are monitoring the volcano and the fissures that opened up nearby, and the USGS is keeping Kilauea's alert level at "Warning"—signifying that "hazardous eruption is imminent, underway, or suspected." For now—with the volcano liable to blow again at any time, and dangerous levels of sulfur dioxide in the area—residents don't have any word on when it might be safe to go back home.
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Related: Volcanoes Are Erupting Across the Pacific Ring of Fire