1,700 People Evacuated In Hawaii As Kilauea Volcano Erupts, Local State Of Emergency Declared

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| May 4 , 2018 , 14:15 IST

Around 1,700 people in the US island state of Hawaii were evacuated on Thursday as the Kilauea volcano erupted releasing lava into a residential area. The evacuees were shifted to a local community centre acting as a shelter, and a local state of emergency was declared in the state.

According to Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, the eruption mainly affected the Leilani Estates which is a subdivision in the lower East Rift Zone of Kilauea volcano. The evacuations were conducted mostly among the Leilani Estates residents which was placed under evacuation order, the governor's spokesperson Cindy McMillan said.

"Shortly before 5 p.m., lava was confirmed at the surface in the eastern end of the subdivision," said the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

Residents speaking to local media described that the lava fountains were shooting 150 feet (46 meters), with the molten lava spreading over an area about 200 yards (183 meters).

Located in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Kilauea is one of the world's most active volcanoes. The Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has closed off nearly 15,700 acres due to "the possibility of a new eruption and unstable geologic activity."

The eruption of Kilauea comes after hundreds of earthquakes shook the eastern side of the Big Island, with the most severe earthquake clocking in a magnitude of 5 on Thursday morning.

Although most of Kilauea's activity has been non-explosive, a 1924 eruption spewed ash and sent 10 ton rocks into the sky, leaving one man dead.