Caleb Jones, Associated Press
Published 11:56 p.m. ET May 3, 2018 | Updated 2:15 ET ET May 4, 2018
HONOLULU – Hawaii Kilauea volcano erupted on Thursday and sent lava shots into the air in a residential area and called for mandatory evacuation orders for nearby homes
Hawaii County said steam and lava poured out a crack in Leilani Estates, located near the town of Pahoa on the Big Island.
Movies shown on local TV showed lava spurting in the sky from a crack in a road.
Resident Jeremiah Osuna captured lava lava burned through the trees, a scene he described as an "elephant".
"It seemed like you would put a lot of stones in a tumble dryer and screw it as high as possible. You could just smell sulfur and burning trees and crush and stuff," he told Honolulu TV station KHON.
Lava fountains shoot 150 meters (46 meters) in the air and melted lava spread over an area about 200 meters (183 meters) wide behind a house in Leilani Estates, told the Big Island resident Ikaika Marzo Honolulu Star Advertiser .
"It sounds like a jet engine. It's going to be difficult," he said.
County, state and federal officials had warned residents all week that they would be prepared to evacuate, as an outbreak would give little warning. Officials at the U.S. Geological Survey on Thursday raised the volcanic warning level to alert status, the highest possible, which means that a dangerous outbreak is imminent, ongoing or suspected.
The country has ordered evacuations for all Leilani Estates, which, according to the 2010 US Census, have a population of 1,500. The state also mobilized the Hawaii National Guard to help with evacuations.
Nearby community centers have opened for protection.
Ranson Yoneda, recreation director of a community center in Pahoa, passed the high school for evacuated after it was selected as
He said so far, about 15 people have arrived, some with animals and they are hungry for information.
"They just want to know what's happening because they were told that it's a compulsory evacuation," he said by phone.
The US Geological Survey said new dots were reported on Thursday afternoon. Hot steam originated from a crack and sprinkling lava began to explode.
Researchers said the areas downstream of the eruption line were at risk of being covered by lava. Leilani Estates seemed to be at greatest risk, but researchers said that new valves and outbreaks could occur and it is not possible to say where.
The outbreak will come after the earthquakes days in the area of the Puna district. A nearby school was closed due to the ongoing seismic activity and several roads broke under the tension of constant tembles.
The Puu Oo Crater floor began collapsing Monday, triggering a series of earthquakes and pushing lava into new underground chambers.
The collapse caused magma to shoot more than 10 miles downslope against the populated southeast coast of the island.
USGS geologist Janet Babb said that magma crosses under Highway 130, leading to a popular Volcanic Connection Point on Tuesday evening
The Civil Defense Department in Hawaii closed the area to visitors on Tuesday and ordered private travel companies to stop taking people into the region.
Most of Kilauea's activities have been non-existent, but an outbreak in 1924 flushed ashes and 10 tons of stones into the sky leaves a man dead.
Puu East 1983 eruptions resulted in lava fountains rising above 1500 meters high. For decades ago, the lava flow has buried dozens of square million land and destroyed many homes.
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