Lava from one of the world’s most active volcanoes snaked closer to the Big Island’s Highway 137 — coming within a mile and a half Monday night to choking off one of the last remaining evacuation routes for residents in lower Puna, officials said.
Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey said that red-and-orange lava continues to flow from fissure 17, but has slowed to about two-tenths of a mile in the past six hours. The situation is considered extremely dangerous.
USGS officials said the lava flow has been releasing audible jets of gases that they could be heard as scientists flew over the area.
Kilauea began erupting on May 3. Since then, fissures have been generated mostly in Leilana Estates subdivision, where nearly 2,000 residents were ordered to evacuate. Lava has destroyed more than 40 structures, including two dozen homes.
Geologists warn that Kilauea’s summit could have an explosive steam eruption that would hurl huge rocks and ash miles into the sky.
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