Hell Takes Over Highway

Lava and gas continued to erupt from Kilauea volcano across a remote, rural neighborhood on Hawaii Island, and by Monday had destroyed 35 structures, including at least 26 homes, authorities said.

Two new fissures produced lava and sulfur dioxide gas before becoming quiet by Monday afternoon, said Peter Cervelli, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey.

“Additional outbreaks or a resumption of activity are anticipated as seismicity continues in the area,” the agency’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said in a statement. Cracks on Highway 130 widened Monday, and new cracks west of the roadway were observed.

“It’s not uncommon for these eruptions to wax and wane,” Cervelli said. The fissures have been moving southwest and higher in elevation, Cervelli said.

Lava flows had advanced slowly northward throughout Sunday in the Leilani Gardens neighborhood, in large part fueled by a fissure that had been spewing lava fountains to heights of more than 200 feet, the U.S. Geological Survey said. A lava flow from that crack moved about 0.6 miles to the northeast before it stopped.

Video published by the USGS showed asphalt roads being slowly consumed by a moving wall of molten rock, with thick red-hot lava glowing underneath, as black smoke billowed upward. USGS helicopter footage showed a river of ash cut through lush tropical forest, with a lava fountain that had been active Sunday billowing red hot molten rock around the charred landscape.

At least 12 fissures have developed since Kilauea began a fresh eruption Thursday in the Leilani Estates neighborhood, located about 25 miles east of the summit of Kilauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes and Hawaii Island’s youngest.

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Source: LA Times