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Volcano Eruption on Hawaii’s Big Island Causes Evacuations

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© Flickr PHOTO: Lava flow at Kilauea Volcano. (photo via Flickr/Jay Huang)

By Donald Wood, TravelPulse

A volcanic eruption on Hawaii’s Big Island has resulted in the evacuation of hundreds of people and the closure of several popular tourist destinations,

According to Reuters, Kilauea Volcano erupted Thursday after a series of earthquakes, spewing fountains of lava and sending ash high into the sky. Local officials announced no injuries or deaths were reported following the eruption.

The United States Geological Survey revealed Kilauea Volcano has been erupting nearly continuously for more than three decades, but Thursday’s eruption caused fissures to open up and send lava reaching 2,100 degrees Fahrenheit into the surrounding area.

While no flights have been impacted yet by the plume of red ash rising from vents around the volcano, tourists have been informed that volcano viewing areas around Kilauea and a portion of the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park have been closed.

In total, around 1,700 people were evacuated to emergency shelters near the Puna communities of Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens. Emergency personnel also warned that extremely high levels of dangerous sulfur dioxide gas were detected in the evacuation area.

While no flights have been impacted yet by the plume of red ash rising from vents around the volcano, tourists have been informed that volcano viewing areas around Kilauea and a portion of the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park have been closed.

In total, around 1,700 people were evacuated to emergency shelters near the Puna communities of Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens. Emergency personnel also warned that extremely high levels of dangerous sulfur dioxide gas were detected in the evacuation area.

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