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The governor of Hawaii has declared a local state of emergency in the vicinity of the Mount Kilauea volcano following an eruption late yesterday on the state’s Big Island. Dramatic video footage of the eruption showed plumes of magma shooting into the air, while lava poured from a fissure that opened up near a residential area.
Hawaii County Civil Defense has ordered mandatory evacuations for the over 1,700 resident who live in the several immediate subdivisions near the volcano. More than 10,000 people live in the vicinity of the volcano.
Footage of the eruption showed lava spewing from the fissure, with trees burning and smoke billowing near the crack. Local residents reported “fountains of lava” spewing upwards as high as 100 meters, reports AFP. White, hot vapour and blue smoke could be seen in the eastern part of the Leilani subdivision, while dangerous levels of sulphur dioxide gas was quite noticeable around the fissure, typical of active and recently active fissures.