By: Kyle James | 05-04-2018 | News
Photo credit: Kevan Kamibayashi

Hawaii - Mandatory Evacuations Ordered As Volcano Erupts

||| Kevan Kamibayashi |||

After hundreds of small earthquakes on the eastern side of Hawaii, evacuations have finally been ordered as Kilauea shows signs it is finally erupting. Thursday morning a 5.0 magnitude shook the island and a giant plume of pink smoke began rising from the volcano. Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientist Tina Neal said, "It appears that ground shaking from the earthquake caused rockfalls in the Pu'u O'o crater on Kilauea Volcano’s East Rift Zone, which resulted in a short-lived plume of reddish ash rising above the cone."

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BREAKING</a>: Smoke seen pouring out of Mount Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii moments after magnitude 5.1 earthquake. Photo via <a href="">@shaylahaukea</a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; UA News (@UrgentAlertNews) <a href="">May 3, 2018</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">BREAKING: Hawaii&#39;s Kilauea volcano releases lava into residential area after days of earthquakes, county orders evacuations.</p>&mdash; The Associated Press (@AP) <a href="">May 4, 2018</a></blockquote>

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The earthquake Thursday morning was the strongest in a series of hundreds of earthquakes over the last several days and hit an area 18 miles southwest of the Hawaiian Paradise Park. Hawaii County news said, "All areas bordering the east rift zone are at high risk for eruption activities. Hawaiian Volcano Observatory has identified magma movement in the lower east rift zone. We urge all residents to keep themselves informed and on the alert."

Lava began flowing in Leilani Estates in Lower Puna shortly after 4 p.m. local time prompting Hawaii County Civil Defense officials to order the evacuation. Mount Kilauea is on the largest and southernmost Hawaiian island range and is located on the southern shore of the Big Island. The volcano is estimated to be between 300,000 and 600,000 years old making it one of the oldest in the area.

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<blockquote class="twitter-video" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">The footage of the <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Kilauea</a> volcano in Hawaii is extraordinary. It could erupt at any moment now 🌋 <a href=""></a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; (@newscomauHQ) <a href="">May 3, 2018</a></blockquote>

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Mount Kilauea is believed to be one of the most active volcanoes on Earth and its last serious eruption in 1924 killed one person when it spewed mud, debris, and giant hot rocks weighing over 15,000 pounds. Prior to the 1924 eruption, Kilauea killed around 80 people when it suddenly erupted in the 1780s. The American Red Cross of Hawaii has opened an emergency shelter at Pahoa Community Center as about 10,000 residents make their way out of the Puna community.

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Twitter: #Puna #Hawaii #BigIsland #Volcano #Eruption #LeilaniEstates #Kilauea

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