Wednesday, 20 June, 2018

Three people trapped by lava airlifted to safety near Hawaii volcano

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Charlie Simmons | 06 June, 2018, 00:48

While local first responders searched for people trapped in their homes in isolated areas, Hawaii County Civil Defense reported that fewer than a dozen refused evacuation in an area electrical power, water and telephone service are inoperable. Up to a dozen people chose to stay even after the area was evacuated. Some said they were staying because they had nowhere else to go, officials said. A map of the lava flows from the east rift zone on June 4, 2018.

Officials said on Saturday that access to Kapoho had been cut off.

A thermal map shows the fissure system and lava flows on Sunday, June 3 as the flow from Fissure 8 continues to advance towards the ocean in Kapoho Bay.

"For us it's more of a vacation area, but for those who live there permanently, they're trying to figure out where they're going to be living", he said.

Mehana Kihoi hands out goods to Leilani Estate evacuees at the community organized Pu'uhonua o Puna, a center to help those affected by the recent lava eruption, in Pahoa, Hawaii, May 29, 2018. They stopped to inquire of their situation, and then when asked, airlifted them to a safe place.

Civil defense reported a total of 117 homes and other structures were destroyed as the eruption from Kilauea, one of the world's most active volcanoes, continued through its 33rd day.

Despite rumors to the contrary, Snyder said Hawaii County Parks and Recreation's Summer Fun Program will not be cancelled this year.

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Most of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park remains closed due to persistent earthquakes and eruptions of corrosive volcanic ash.

Although volcanic activity has only affected a small amount of forest area, authorities are concerned the wildlife unique to the region may be in danger.

The monthlong eruption has claimed as much as a half of a forest reserve that's home to native birds and trees that have already been declining because of disease, state officials said.

Toxic sulfur dioxide gas emissions have created an additional hazard.

Instead, tsunamis or tidal waves, become more serious threats if the size of the quake increases, Preller said.

In addition to volcanic particles that can cause eye, skin and respiratory irritation, residents were warned to be on the lookout for sharp, thin strands of volcanic glass fibers known as "Pele's hair," a reference to the Hawaiian goddess of fire.

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