Hawaii officials airlift 4 residents after lava crosses road - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Hawaii officials airlift 4 residents after lava crosses road

Posted: Updated:
PAHOA, Hawaii -

Fast-moving lava crossed a road and isolated about 40 homes Friday in a rural subdivision below Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano, forcing at least four people to be evacuated by county and National Guard helicopters.

Hawaii County Civil Defense said police, firefighters and National Guard troops were securing the area of the Big Island and stopping people from entering.

The homes were isolated in the area east of Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens — two neighborhoods where lava has destroyed 40 structures, including 26 homes, over the past two weeks.

Officials said three people were still in the area but not in imminent danger. They were advised to shelter in place and await rescue by helicopter first thing Saturday.

County officials have been encouraging residents in the district to prepare for potential evacuations.

Edwin Montoya, who lives with his daughter on her farm near the site where lava crossed the road and cut off access, said he was at the property earlier in the day to get valuables.

“I think I’m lucky because we went there this morning and we got all the batteries out, and all the solar panels out, about $4,000 worth of equipment,” he said. “They have to evacuate the people that are trapped up there right now in the same place that we were taking pictures this morning.”

He said no one was on his property, but his neighbor had someone on his land.

“I know that the farm right next to my farm . he’s got somebody there taking care of the premises, I know he’s trapped,” Montoya said.

Montoya said the fissure that poured lava across the road opened and grew quickly.

“It was just a little crack in the ground, with a little lava coming out,” he said. “Now it’s a big crater that opened up where the small little crack in the ground was.”

Experts are uncertain about when the volcano will calm down.

The Big Island volcano released a small explosion at its summit just before midnight Saturday, sending an ash cloud 10,000 feet (3,048 meters) into the sky. The U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said eruptions that create even minor amounts of ashfall could occur at any time.

This follows the more explosive eruption Thursday, which emitted ash and rocks thousands of feet into the sky. No one was injured and there were no reports of damaged property.

Scientists said the eruption was the most powerful in recent days, though it probably lasted only a few minutes.

It came two weeks after the volcano began sending lava flows into neighborhoods 25 miles (40 kilometers) to the east of the summit.

A new lava vent — the 22nd such fissure — was reported Friday by county civil defense officials.

Several open fissure vents are still producing lava splatter and flow in evacuated areas. Gas is also pouring from the vents, cloaking homes and trees in smoke.

The fresher, hotter magma will allow faster lava flows that can potentially cover more area, said Janet Babb, a geologist with the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

Much of the lava that has emerged so far may have been underground for decades, perhaps since a 1955 eruption.

Meanwhile, more explosive eruptions from the summit are possible.

“We have no way of knowing whether this is really the beginning or toward the end of this eruption,” said Tom Shea, a volcanologist at the University of Hawaii. “We’re kind of all right now in this world of uncertainty.”

It’s nearly impossible to determine when a volcano will stop erupting, “because the processes driving that fall below the surface and we can’t see them.” said volcanologist Janine Krippner of Concord University in West Virginia.

U.S. government scientists, however, are trying to pin down those signals “so we have a little better warning,” said Wendy Stovall, a volcanologist with the observatory.

Thus far, Krippner noted, authorities have been able to forecast volcanic activity early enough to usher people to safety.

The greatest ongoing hazard stems from the lava flows and the hot, toxic gases spewing from open fissure vents close to homes and critical infrastructure, said Charles Mandeville of the U.S. Geological Survey’s volcano hazards program.

Authorities have been measuring gases, including sulfur dioxide, rising in little puffs from open vents.

The area affected by lava and ash is small compared to the Big Island, which is about 4,000 square miles. Most of the island and the rest of the Hawaiian chain is unaffected by the volcanic activity on Kilauea.

State and local officials have been reminding tourists that flights in and out of the entire state, including the Big Island, have not been impacted. Even on the Big Island, most tourist activities are still available and businesses are open.

___

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Two injured in Montana after swerving to avoid a kangaroo -- Really

    Two injured in Montana after swerving to avoid a kangaroo -- Really

    Thursday, June 21 2018 12:46 PM EDT2018-06-21 16:46:44 GMT
    File photo of a kangarooFile photo of a kangaroo

    DODSON, Mont. - Two people were injured in Montana Wednesday morning after swerving to avoid a kangaroo on the road.  Trooper Matt Finley with the Montana Highway Patrol said he thought it was a joke when he responded to the call, but when he arrived at about 4 a.m. he saw the kangaroo.  Trooper Finley said he learned there is a kangaroo farm west of Dodson. 

    >>

    DODSON, Mont. - Two people were injured in Montana Wednesday morning after swerving to avoid a kangaroo on the road.  Trooper Matt Finley with the Montana Highway Patrol said he thought it was a joke when he responded to the call, but when he arrived at about 4 a.m. he saw the kangaroo.  Trooper Finley said he learned there is a kangaroo farm west of Dodson. 

    >>
  • Puyallup woman pleads guilty to defrauding $290K from Costco

    Puyallup woman pleads guilty to defrauding $290K from Costco

    Thursday, June 21 2018 12:56 AM EDT2018-06-21 04:56:03 GMT
    Puyallup woman pleads guilty to defrauding $290K from CostcoPuyallup woman pleads guilty to defrauding $290K from Costco
    Federal officials say further testing was unable to confirm the presence of E. coli in the onions and celery used to make chicken salad at Costco warehouses across the country.Federal officials say further testing was unable to confirm the presence of E. coli in the onions and celery used to make chicken salad at Costco warehouses across the country.

    TACOMA, Wash. (AP) - A Washington state woman has pleaded guilty to stealing nearly $290,000 from a Costco warehouse over five years. The News Tribune reports 54-year-old Robin Cline pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court in Tacoma to charges of wire fraud.  Cline of Puyallup worked at Costco in Fife from 1996 to 2016 as an accounts receivable clerk. She was responsible for processing payments and refunds for customers of the warehouse club operator. Accordi...

    >>

    TACOMA, Wash. (AP) - A Washington state woman has pleaded guilty to stealing nearly $290,000 from a Costco warehouse over five years. The News Tribune reports 54-year-old Robin Cline pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court in Tacoma to charges of wire fraud.  Cline of Puyallup worked at Costco in Fife from 1996 to 2016 as an accounts receivable clerk. She was responsible for processing payments and refunds for customers of the warehouse club operator. Accordi...

    >>
  • Spokane business owner fed up with feces, unwanted surprise at work

    Spokane business owner fed up with feces, unwanted surprise at work

    Thursday, June 21 2018 2:32 AM EDT2018-06-21 06:32:06 GMT

    A Spokane business owner says enough is enough after finding human feces in front of her doorstep three days in a row. The incidences happened at Neat Old Stuff located at 3rd and Bernard. The shop's owner, CP Phare, has been in the same location for the last decade and says suspicious activity has ramped up in the last year, but nothing like what's been happening over the last few days. "There's like surprise packages usually two-to-three times a week," 

    >>

    A Spokane business owner says enough is enough after finding human feces in front of her doorstep three days in a row. The incidences happened at Neat Old Stuff located at 3rd and Bernard. The shop's owner, CP Phare, has been in the same location for the last decade and says suspicious activity has ramped up in the last year, but nothing like what's been happening over the last few days. "There's like surprise packages usually two-to-three times a week," 

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • Hayden woman will be oldest female competitor at CdA's Half Ironman

    Hayden woman will be oldest female competitor at CdA's Half Ironman

    Thursday, June 21 2018 9:59 PM EDT2018-06-22 01:59:35 GMT

    In an old pasture, there’s a track that Dexter Yeats' husband mowed out to create her own field of dreams. It’s where she spends a majority of her time training. At 72-years old, she’ll be the oldest female competitor at Coeur d’Alene's Ironman 70.3, but it’s still safe to say she's in better shape than most people half her age.

    >>

    In an old pasture, there’s a track that Dexter Yeats' husband mowed out to create her own field of dreams. It’s where she spends a majority of her time training. At 72-years old, she’ll be the oldest female competitor at Coeur d’Alene's Ironman 70.3, but it’s still safe to say she's in better shape than most people half her age. 

    >>
  • Terminally ill Rathdrum baby gets gift of comfort from local business

    Terminally ill Rathdrum baby gets gift of comfort from local business

    Thursday, June 21 2018 9:54 PM EDT2018-06-22 01:54:33 GMT

    RATHDRUM, Idaho - A family said their main priority right now is keeping their sick baby comfortable. They were recently told by doctor's their 19month-old daughter isn't expected to live much longer. They said one of the only things that eases her pain is a specialty chair that insurance won't cover. That's when friends said, "Help Me Hayley."

    >>

    RATHDRUM, Idaho - A family said their main priority right now is keeping their sick baby comfortable. They were recently told by doctor's their 19month-old daughter isn't expected to live much longer. They said one of the only things that eases her pain is a specialty chair that insurance won't cover. That's when friends said, "Help Me Hayley."

    >>
  • Hard Rock casino installs big guitar with misspelled word

    Hard Rock casino installs big guitar with misspelled word

    Thursday, June 21 2018 9:45 PM EDT2018-06-22 01:45:21 GMT

    ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) - The soon-to-open Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City had to work quickly to fix a misspelling on a 30-foot-tall (9-meter-tall) guitar installed this week.    The sign, modeled after a Gibson Les Paul guitar, was put up Thursday morning without officials noticing the word "rhythm" was misspelled on the rhythm and treble switch. It included the letter "E."

    >>

    ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) - The soon-to-open Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City had to work quickly to fix a misspelling on a 30-foot-tall (9-meter-tall) guitar installed this week.    The sign, modeled after a Gibson Les Paul guitar, was put up Thursday morning without officials noticing the word "rhythm" was misspelled on the rhythm and treble switch. It included the letter "E."

    >>