Hawaii volcano eruption leads more evacuations
The Kilauea volcano erupted again on May 8, spewing toxic gases out of two new vents and prompting authorities to call for an immediate evacuation of residents from a second neighborhood on the Big Island.
The County of Hawaii Civil Defense Agency issued an emergency bulletin ordering residents of the Lanipuna Gardens area on the east side of the island to leave their homes.
“Hawaiian Volcano Observatory confirms 2 new vents. All Lanipuna residents must evacuate now,” the agency said in its bulletin, adding that the two vents had opened near two road intersections and were “actively erupting.”
Earlier on May 8 residents of the hardest hit area, known as Leilani Estates, drove through clouds of sulfur and over cracked roads to make desperate and possibly last visits home before another eruption by Kilauea, which has already destroyed 35 homes and other structures.
David Nail, who recently sold his business and moved to Lelani Estates from Orange County, California after his wife was diagnosed with Parkinsons disease, said a 20-foot wall of lava blocked him from getting close enough to see if his house had been destroyed.
“All we could do was sit there and cry,” Nail said.
Earlier in the day U.S. Army veteran Delance Weigel, 71, collected some of his prized possessions as steam and sulfur dioxide gas rose out of cracks in the street.
“The way it looks now, I thought I’d try one more time to get my things out,” Weigel said. “Whether we lose our home or not, we’ll see. But we’re definitely going to be cut off. You move to paradise, then this happens.”
No deaths or major injuries have been reported.