LEILANI ESTATES — A fast-moving lava flow is flowing through the Leilani Estates community in Hawaii, with Civil Defense warning residents to evacuate to avoid being isolated by the advancing molten rock.
“Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports that a fast moving pahoehoe flow from Fissure 8 is advancing on Nohea and Kupono Streets north of Leilani Street.
“There are reports of lava fountains on Moku Street. Anyone in the area, from Pomaikai east, needs to leave now,” Hawaii County Civil Defense said 6 p.m. Monday local time (12 a.m. Tuesday ET).
Authorities are going door-to-door to alert residents on the affected streets, it said.
USGS Volcanoes said Fissure 8 was “very active with two fountains reaching more than 200 ft at times.”
Threat of vog
The USGS earlier warned that vigorous eruption of lava from the Kilauea volcano was continuing in Hawaii’s East Rift Zone, where the Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens communities are located.
Magma continues to be supplied to the lower East Rift Zone and a number of fissures reactivated briefly Monday, the USGS said.
“Additional ground cracking and outbreaks of lava in the area of the active fissures are possible,” its update said, warning residents downslope of the fissures to heed all civil defense messages.
“Volcanic gas emissions remain very high from the fissure eruptions. If a forecast shift in wind direction occurs today, widespread vog could occur on the Island of Hawaii,” it warned Monday evening.
Vog — or volcanic smog — is a haze created when sulfur dioxide gas and other volcanic pollutants settle with moisture and dust.
The USGS said ash was also continuing to erupt intermittently from Kilauea’s summit.
“Winds have weakened and shifted in direction so that ash fall could occur in communities around the summit area,” it said. “Additional explosive events that could produce minor amounts of ash fall downwind are possible at any time. Volcanic gas emissions at the summit remain high.”
The National Weather Service said the wind could carry ash to other locations.
“Low level winds will remain out of the east-southeast through Tuesday, then shift back out of the east Wednesday. These winds will
support volcanic emissions and ashfall potentially impacting other locations on the Big Island, such as the Hilo and Kona Districts.
“In addition to this potential over the Big Island, some emissions could reach the smaller islands through the day Tuesday,” it said.
Earthquakes in the summit region were also continuing, USGS said.
It said a 4.1 magnitude quake was recorded at 5:39 p.m. Monday (11:39 p.m. ET). No tsunami warning was issued.
Civil Defense also ordered immediate evacuations Sunday evening for areas of the Leilani community as lava and toxic gas continues to erupt from 24 fissures that have opened in the rift zone since the start of the month.
At least 10 homes were destroyed Sunday due to volcano activity, Civil Defense Administrator Talmadge Magno told a news conference Monday.
About 41 homes and 82 structures in total have been destroyed, Magno said. More than 240 people are currently in a shelter, according to reports.
‘My house is gone’
Leilani Estates resident Steve Gebbie told CNN that he lost his home to lava Sunday night.
He sent in a video he took of his property, submerged under smoking black lava.
Standing in a driveway filming the devastation, Gebbie chokes up: “My house is gone. That was my house right there. Randy’s house is gone. Donna’s house is gone,” he says.
Earlier in the month Gebbie, a union carpenter, told CNN that he had lived in the community for more than a decade and built his home himself over the past three years.
He had walked around his property May 4, taking a video and saying goodbye in case the eruption preventing him from returning.
“My beautiful house — gorgeous, custom home,” he said. “Paid for. No mortgage, which is awesome. … I took a walk around my house, videotaped my house and pretty much said goodbye.”
Back then, Gebbie acknowledged that Hawaii’s residents had to deal with lava.
“You know that when you come in. I knew that when I moved here. This was a gamble that everybody takes. Maybe I’ve lost.”