More than 1700 people have been evacuated from Pahoa and surrounding areas as Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano continues to spurt lava from openings in the ground. Two new fissures have opened since the initial eruption on Thursday and more are expected over the coming days.
The hot lava flow has destroyed and cut off several streets in the region. Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim says the danger posed by the lava is still high and more residents may need to be evacuated. “This is a very fast-moving situation,” he told Hawaii News Now. “This is unfortunately not the end.”
Kilauea is one of the world’s most active volcanoes and has been erupting sporadically since 1983.
Trouble in Vanuatu
As Hawaii battles its own volcanic eruption, so is the Pacific nation of Vanuatu. The entire population of Ambae island is being prepared to evacuate as thick ash pours from one of the volcanoes, polluting the air and water and destroying crops.
Only 10,000 remain on the island presently, which is one of about 65 inhabited islands in Vanuatu and is approximately 400 square km. The Australian government is providing funds and resources to help with the evacuation.
Vanuatu sits on an arc of seismic faults known as the Pacific’s “Ring of Fire,” here volcanoes and earthquakes are particularly common.