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Hawaii's Mount Kilauea closes off escape route, prompts evacuations

Hawaii's Mount Kilauea closes off escape route, prompts evacuations

Hawaii County's civil defence agency said that lava was quickly approaching Highway 132, prompting the closure from Lava Tree State Park to Four Corners on Tuesday. "(Please don't try!)", the USGS said in response.

Authorities are advising residents to minimize exposure to those elements to avoid physical irritation.

The hottest and fastest-moving lava of Kilauea volcano's latest eruption spread across new parts of the Big Island Wednesday, forcing officials to order evacuations in two coastal neighborhoods over fears that the rapidly advancing flows could cut off dwindling escape routes.

New aerial video shows how the lava is forming channels in the hardened rock, reports CBS News' Carter Evans.

"It took the road", said Talmadge Magno, civil defense administrator.

Besides the lava, there's also the danger of "vog", or volcanic smog. "And if you add sulfuric acid (in the vog, for example) to sugar, you get a pretty spectacular reaction".

Since the first eruption occurred in the Leilani Estates subdivision on the evening of Thursday, May 3, emergency officials believe almost 2,500 residents have been forced to evacuate as lava, flowing from numerous volcanic fissures, consumes everything in its path.

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They are not considered a threat to food safety, but do cause production losses on farms. "No one ever wants to see mass culls". The disease was discovered in July previous year and since then 41 farms have been confirmed as infected.

Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim on Wednesday renewed an emergency proclamation for 60 more days, allowing construction of temporary shelters and other relief projects to proceed on an expedited basis, without reviews and permits normally required.

Leilani Estates resident Steve Gebbie said he lost his home to lava Sunday night. That was my house right there.

Lava was shooting up from cracks in the ground and blowing strands of volcanic glass. The Civil Defense Agency warned it could cause injury if it got in residents' eyes or was breathed in.

The US Geological Survey has been answering those questions on social media.

The eruption of Kilauea volcano, a major tourist attraction on the Big Island, has not affected flights in the area but its eruption is expected to affect tourism.

The lava flow also covered a section of Highway 132 on the Big Island, making it harder for residents still in the area to evacuate.

The reported drop in hotel and activities bookings comes as the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau reports a significant uptick this month in arrivals to the Big Island, owing largely to an increase in nonstop air service from the U.S. mainland to Hawaii. The number of homes destroyed this week jumped from 41 to more than 70.