Pahoa, Hawaii.- The Kilauea volcano sent more lava into Hawaii communities Friday, a day after forcing nearly 1,500 people to flee from their mountainside homes, and authorities detected high levels of sulfur gas that could threaten the elderly and people with breathing problems.
The eruption that began Thursday spewed molten lava that chewed through forests and bubbled up on paved streets. One resident described the scene as “a curtain of fire.”
After a week of earthquakes and warnings that an eruption could be imminent, steam and lava poured out of a crack in the community of Leilani Estates near the town of Pahoa on the Big Island, officials said.
Video showed lava spurting into the sky from a crack in a road and a line of lava snaking through a forest. On Friday, the activity continued, with reports of eruptions from volcanic vents on two streets.
Civil defense officials cautioned the public about high levels of sulfur dioxide near the volcano and urged vulnerable people to leave immediately. Exposure to the gas can cause irritation or burns, sore throats, runny noses, burning eyes and coughing.
Jeremiah Osuna, who captured the drone footage, described the scene as a curtain of flame roaring through the vegetation.