Hawaii: Kilauea volcano erupts again, spews ash up to 12,000 feet

Hawaii: Kilauea volcano erupts again, spews ash up to 12,000 feet

Around 2,000 residents of Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens were asked to evacuate because of lava flows and high levels of toxic sulphur dioxide gas from volcanic vents, according to Reuters.

They responded: "Erm, we're going to have to say no, that's not safe".

The United States Geological Survey is very serious about updating the public on the activity and spreading danger of Hawaii's Kilauea volcano, but it's not afraid to field some goofy questions, too.

A fast-moving lava flow has been flowing through the Leilani Estate community, according to KDKA.

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"The flow from fissures 21 and seven was widening and advancing", said Janet Snyder, a spokeswoman for the County of Hawaii.

Molten rock trapped at least one person who was rescued by authorities. Its operator, Israeli-controlled Ormat Technologies, said it had not been able to assess the damage.

Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano has spewed lava from about two dozen fissures for more than three weeks, and hundreds have been chased by their homes by the lava flows on the Big Island.

A fresh eruption from the summit's Halemaumau crater on Monday sent ash nearly 4600m into the air, said Maureen Ballard, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Honolulu.

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While eruptions continue at the main crater, Kilauea's lava flows have also proven extremely risky for bystanders and residents who refused to evacuate.

Contingency plans have been made for a possible helicopter evacuation of up to 1,000 residents in a coastal area south of the fissures should their last exit route be blocked by lava or become unsafe due to gaping cracks, officials said. Officials said there was no release of any unsafe hydrogen sulfide gas after lava crept over the plugged wells.

Winds are set to shift on Monday and Tuesday, causing higher concentrations of ash and volcanic smog that will spread west and northwest to affect more populated areas, said National Weather Service meteorologist John Bravender.

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