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Lava Shoots 300ft In The Air As Hawaii's Volcanic Chaos Continues

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Lava Shoots 300ft In The Air As Hawaii's Volcanic Chaos Continues

More people have been evacuated and further homes destroyed as the volcanic activity continues in Hawaii.

Eruptions from the island's Kilauea volcano have seen molten lava spewed up to 300ft in the air, according to scientists. That's the height of a 23-storey building.

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Nearly 2,000 people have had to leave their homes because of the lava, as well as sulphur dioxide gas that could cause serious harm to anyone in the way.

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There have been no injuries reported so far, but there have been at least 30 houses destroyed in an area known as Leilani Estates on Hawaii's Big Island.

Lava has been spewing from vents in the ground after cracks opened in the aftermath of a 6.9 magnitude earthquake last week.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Last night saw two new vents open up in the ground and begin spewing molten rock, according to Hawaii's civil defence officials. That means that in the area, ten have opened since last Thursday.

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Only one of the vents was active on Saturday night, but new and dangerous lava spurts of nearly 100m have started again on Sunday and show little signs of stopping, said Hawaiian Civil Defence Administrator Talmadge Magno.

He said: "We had some pauses yesterday, but there seems to be a lot of magma underground."

A lot of the people who have been evacuated have had to do so because of the threat of toxic gas, but also because there is a significant danger that more vents and cracks could open up. The problem is that nobody knows where they will open.

There are currently 240 people and nine pets in rescue centres, everyone else is with friends or family. Some people have been allowed to go back for essentials such as medicine, or to save animals.

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The earthquake that has been the cause of all of the problems is the largest one to hit the islands for more than 40 years. More smaller earthquakes have hit the area frequently since the initial shock.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Tesha Montoya, a 45-year-old who lives in the largely rural area, said: "I felt like the whole side of our hill was going to explode,

"The earthquake was what made us start running and start throwing guinea pigs and bunnies in the car."

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Of her house, which she built with her husband and daughter many years ago, she said: "My heart and soul's there. I'm nothing without the land. It's part of my being."

It is not clear when those who have been evacuated will be able to go back to their homes.

Kilauea is one of the world's most active volcanos and has been erupting non-stop since 1983.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: America, US News, Volcano, USA

Tom Wood
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