More evacuations ordered on Hawaii's Big Island as volcano activity intensifies

Firefighters went door-to-door urging some residents of Leilani Estates on Hawaii's Big Island to leave as lava from ...

Posted: May 27, 2018 1:02 PM
Updated: May 27, 2018 1:02 PM

Firefighters went door-to-door urging some residents of Leilani Estates on Hawaii's Big Island to leave as lava from the Kilauea volcano continued to flow, threatening more homes.

"Any residents remaining in the current affected areas should evacuate now," said an emergency message from the Hawaii County Civil Defense.

Thick waves of fresh lava from fissure 22 and 7 -- which officials say are producing the largest amount of lava -- are blazing down a mound of volcanic rock.

"It's just a matter of time," resident Steve Gebbie says. "I don't know what's going to be left of Leilani, I really think it might be wiped out."

On Saturday, the Hawaii County Civil Defense said lava into the subdivision had slowed. Lava continued to enter the Pacific Ocean near MacKenzie State Park.

A series of volcanic explosions occurred Saturday morning, according to a tweet from USGS Volcanoes. The explosions produced an ash cloud that rose up to 11,000 feet above sea level, the National Weather Service said. Smaller explosions occurred overnight. Moderate winds were blowing to the southwest, and light ash was likely to fall downwind.

Earlier this week, eruptions sent ash plume 10,000 feet up in the air. More red and orange lava fountains emerged and lava reached the Pacific Ocean, presenting a new threat for residents.

The oozing lava has destroyed 82 structures on the Big Island, and another 37 structures have become inaccessible in the last days, said Hawaii County Civil Defense Administrator Talmadge Magno.

About 2,200 acres have been covered in lava since the Kilauea volcano eruptions began May 3, Magno said.

The US Geological Survey said there were 90 earthquakes of multiple intensities at the volcano summit in about six hours Friday. Earthquakes continued at a moderate rate overnight.

'This is the Hawaiian way'

As lava bombs were fired in every direction, Darryl Clinton tried to keep homes on the Big Island from going up in flames.

Armed with little more than a garden house, he doused lava bombs as they bombarded his and his neighbors' homes, destroying windows, crashing through the roof and igniting parts of the houses.

"This is the Hawaiian way," his neighbor and close friend Steve Hill said. "You take care of each other."

Hill's family had packed up their furniture and valuables and left their property, convinced the lava erupting from fissures in the area would consume their slice of paradise.

The homes are still there, thanks to Clinton's efforts, he said.

"This place stands because Darryl chose not to go home," Hill said. "It stands because he believed he could save it, and that's it."

Last week, Hill had pleaded with Clinton to leave the homes and let them burn. The onslaught of molten lava bombs appeared unstoppable, and Clinton's task seemed far too dangerous.

Clinton didn't listen. The next day, he was standing on Hill's top deck when a lava bomb the size of a bowling ball flew through the air and hit Clinton with such force it snapped the bones in his leg.

"It just took my leg out and threw me against the wall, the most extreme force I've ever felt in my life," Clinton told CNN from his hospital bed in Hilo.

Clinton has had at least three surgeries and is in Honolulu for another. He will be off his feet for weeks, but he said he doesn't regret his choice to stay to protect the homes.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 296745

Reported Deaths: 6783
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto19774231
Hinds18916394
Harrison16850282
Rankin12823265
Jackson12700230
Lee9711162
Madison9499204
Jones8017148
Forrest7272138
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Scott295771
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Chickasaw201753
Holmes182770
Clay179351
Stone173129
Tallahatchie171739
Clarke170273
Calhoun158628
Smith153633
Yalobusha145636
Greene128133
Walthall124840
Noxubee123331
Montgomery123140
Perry122735
Lawrence120821
Carroll119325
Amite112435
Webster111132
Jefferson Davis102731
Tunica99624
Claiborne99029
Benton94024
Humphreys93128
Kemper90823
Quitman77414
Franklin76420
Choctaw69917
Jefferson62827
Wilkinson62527
Sharkey49217
Issaquena1676
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 498887

Reported Deaths: 10122
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson719121402
Mobile36328740
Madison32639469
Tuscaloosa24372421
Montgomery22765520
Shelby22231218
Baldwin19890289
Lee15057158
Calhoun13901294
Morgan13770255
Etowah13407325
Marshall11452213
Houston10130264
Elmore9499190
Limestone9429138
St. Clair9041227
Cullman8991183
Lauderdale8618214
DeKalb8507175
Talladega7628165
Walker6593259
Jackson6551104
Autauga633392
Blount6246128
Colbert6004121
Coffee5268104
Dale4676107
Russell407333
Franklin400078
Covington3998106
Chilton3902103
Escambia379273
Tallapoosa3631143
Clarke344553
Chambers3432111
Dallas3422142
Pike293273
Marion288595
Lawrence285386
Winston258568
Bibb245758
Marengo243057
Geneva240570
Pickens225557
Barbour213951
Hale212269
Fayette202257
Butler201766
Henry183641
Cherokee178140
Monroe166739
Randolph165140
Washington156836
Macon147745
Crenshaw146555
Clay146054
Cleburne139941
Lamar133933
Lowndes132851
Wilcox122825
Bullock117436
Conecuh107024
Perry106227
Sumter100432
Coosa90224
Greene88732
Choctaw55423
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