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Kilauea Volcano Explosion

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Lava fissure sprays from the Kilauea Volcano on Luana Street in the Leilani Estates neighborhood of Hawaii.

Lava fissure sprays from the Kilauea Volcano on Luana Street in the Leilani Estates neighborhood of Hawaii.

Handout / Reuters

Handout / Reuters

Lava fissure sprays from the Kilauea Volcano on Luana Street in the Leilani Estates neighborhood of Hawaii.

Kaia Patel, Staff Writer

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One of the youngest and most active volcanoes in Hawaii, the Kilauea volcano erupted on Thursday, May 3rd. Previous earthquakes caused by magma moving inside the volcano caused the eruption, spewing hot lava onto the residential area, Leilani Estates, below it. Nearly 1,700 people have been evacuated from their homes as a precaution.

Kilauea’s volcano has since damaged 26 homes in the neighborhood and a reported five other buildings. Following the 6.9 magnitude earthquake on Friday, the largest to hit Hawaii in 40 years, hundreds of small earthquakes rocked through the area on Saturday. Toxic gas in the form of sulfur dioxide coming out of the volcanic vents poses additional threats to the residential population in Pahoa, Hawaii, particularly the elderly, young, and people with respiratory problems.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, some of the lava from the volcano shot about 330 feet into the air, causing concern for the surrounding area of the volcanic zone. Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim tweeted that the areas bordering the eastern part of the rift zone “are at high risk for eruption.” Many of the residents, now evacuated from their homes, remain on edge due to the severity of the situation. Most of them are unsure of what the future brings, for them and their families.

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Kilauea Volcano Explosion