Toxic sulfur dioxide gas spewing near the fissures is at lethal concentrations, said U.S. Geological Survey volcano scientist Wendy Stovall. The vents initially spewed lava but had calmed down by late Saturday and were only releasing steam and gas.
"The eruption progressed a few more extensive flows", said civil defense administrator Talmadge Magno.
The activity had heightened Saturday morning, with officials saying the lava from multiple the vents had joined together in a concerning scenario.
Residents have been evacuated from two remote, rural neighborhoods on the eastern edge of Hawaii Island where the lava is emerging from the fissures. The last one is reportedly the largest natural disaster to hit Hawaii in the last four decades.
U.S. Geological Survey via AP
Aerial photos published by NBC affiliate KHNL showed a river of lava surging through houses with tidy green lawns surrounded by rows of trees. Volcanic eruptions can release potentially risky sulfur dioxide - and fire department personnel have detected high levels of the gas in the evacuation area, the civil defense agency said.
Eruptions of lava fountains continued throughout the night.
In revised figures Sunday, Hawaii County officials said another four unspecified structures were covered by lava. There's no indication when this particular lava flow might stop or how far it might spread.
Then, shooting lava can reach up to 1,000ft, they said.
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Lava burns across the road in the Leilani Estates in Pahoa, Hawaii. "There's a lot of lava or magma under the ground so eventually it's going to come up".
Authorities warned that the air quality remained troublesome and that the roads were still under very unstable conditions, and residents could be required to leave the area if conditions became more hazardous.
He's living out of his van with his wife at the nearby community center and constantly thinks about things they left behind, but understands why authorities evacuated residents.
Kilauea (pronounced kill-ah-WAY'-ah) is one of the world's most active volcanoes and has been erupting continuously since 1983.
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Even worse, cracks emerged in the volcano's East Rift Zone - an area of fissures miles away from the volcano's summit. The contents of the crater seeped into a network of underground channels and flowed downhill _ and on Thursday started gushing out of cracks that had opened in Leilani Estates. The quake, one of dozens to hit the area in 24 hours, was the most powerful on the island since 1975, the US Geological Survey said. Although the natural disaster could be felt across much of the archipelago, the worst shaking occurred in an area with no neighborhoods or businesses.
Jessica Gauthier, 47, said she and other local real estate agents had seen vacation renters cancel their reservations, though the volcanic activity is far from tourist centres. "The absence of additional deformation in the past day suggests a pause in magma acculumation in the distal part of the intrusion", the scientists said.
When that pressure built up, the surface around that had to move _ producing sudden earth movement on a fault plane that separates the ancient sea floor and Kilauea volcano. The governor also signed an emergency proclamation, which authorizes "the expenditure of state monies as appropriated for quick and efficient relief caused by the volcanic eruption", according to the governor's office.
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