See lava spew hundreds of feet into air

More Hawaii residents have been told to evacuate as two new fissures open and volcanoes spew lava and fumes. CNN's Scott McLean reports.

Posted: May 15, 2018 8:53 AM
Updated: May 15, 2018 8:55 AM

Scalding, black lava crept out of the largest fissure ripped open by Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano, consuming the lush, green landscape around it and lobbing balls of magma known as "spatter bombs" 500 feet into the air, according to footage and reports from the US Geological Survey.

Fissure No. 17 split the Earth near Leilani Estates, near the eastern point of Hawaii's Big Island, and the USGS published footage of the lava running like a river -- and then a lake -- past three structures in the area.

While authorities reported an 18th fissure opening Sunday, the Hurricane Volcano Observatory walked that back, saying the latest crack in the Earth -- near Halekamahina Loop Road -- was actually part of Fissure 17. On Monday morning, Fissure 18 officially opened, according to the USGS.

No matter what they number them, for residents, the fissures just mean more reasons to run, as the evacuation zones expanded.

Fissure 17 -- the "most voluminous," the USGS says -- is several hundred yards long and was causing serious trouble Sunday, with "lava fountaining, explosion of spatter bombs hundreds of feet into the air, and several advancing lava flow lobes moving generally northeast" from the fissure, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said.

"Based on overflight images late this afternoon, additional lava from fissure 17 was also moving slowly southeast. Volcanic gas emissions remain elevated," the HVO said late Sunday.

The observatory added that "future outbreaks" could arise southwest and northeast of the existing fissures.

Nearly 2,000 people have been evacuated since the volcano erupted, sending lava flowing into communities and threatening a nearby geothermal plant.

The volcanic vents, or fissures, have gobbled up dozens of homes and vehicles, with 37 structures so far destroyed.

The Hawaii Civil Defense Agency said in a Sunday message that vacation rentals in Lower Puna were directed to cease operations to relieve the demand for water as well as reduce the area population so emergency responders can focus on residents.

The Hawaii Police Department also enforced the Federal Aviation Administration's temporary flight restriction for Lower Puna. No helicopter or drone activity is allowed without approval.

That vent was about a mile east of the Puna Geothermal Venture plant, where officials removed 60,000 gallons of flammable liquids due to safety concerns.

In addition to the new fissures, USGS officials said an explosive eruption is possible at Halemaumau crater at the top of the Kilauea volcano. Such an eruption could generate ash plumes over an area 12 miles from the summit crater, the HVO said.

Trump signs disaster declaration

President Donald Trump declared a major disaster in Hawaii on Friday. The declaration allows federal assistance to supplement state and local recovery efforts in areas affected by the Kilauea volcanic eruption and earthquake.

Federal funding is available to state, eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis, the White House said.

The estimated cost to protect residents over the next 30 days is expected to exceed $2.9 million, according to the governor's office.

'They lost everything with the lava'

Aside from evacuations, the Kilauea volcano has had a devastating effect on some residents.

Larry and Geri Butler retired from Seattle to a Leilani Estates home in Hawaii 15 years ago.

The couple was part of the evacuation May 3 and found out May 5, via social media, that their home had been destroyed, their son, Christian Butler, said.

"They are still pretty shook up, but I think the initial shock is starting to wear off," Butler said. "They lost everything with the lava, and have to start over from scratch. I'm not sure that fact has really sunk in with them yet."

Video captured by island resident John Carter and shared on social media shows the Butlers' home engulfed in flames from the vantage point of the front yard. Another video, filmed in the backyard, shows lava consuming the couple's backyard.

Butler said the video was shared by people who live in the area, then his parents found out. His parents called him to tell him the news. Butler lives in the Seattle area.

"I'm not able to be with them during all this," he said. "That makes this all that much more frustrating for me, so I am trying to do all I can for them from here."

He calls the home being destroyed a relief, though, because it helps him focus on his parents' future.

Butler said Sunday that seeing the images of his parents' home is "heartbreaking." He also said his parents, in their 70s, were living on retirement income, so starting over will be a "long, long road." Fortunately, he said, they have insurance.

"They're going to be able to recoup from this," he said.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 665285

Reported Deaths: 12697
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion910581653
Lake48637887
Allen36050641
Hamilton32231398
St. Joseph30243514
Elkhart25484420
Vanderburgh21315382
Tippecanoe20185205
Johnson16425361
Porter16053276
Hendricks15899301
Clark12032182
Madison11779321
Vigo11672231
Monroe10394164
Delaware9879179
LaPorte9821198
Howard9095199
Kosciusko8588111
Bartholomew7504147
Warrick7445153
Hancock7439134
Floyd7255172
Wayne6654192
Grant6453157
Boone611991
Morgan6118126
Dubois5933112
Dearborn550669
Cass5477100
Marshall5446105
Henry542695
Noble510978
Jackson465567
Shelby462591
Lawrence4193113
Gibson404985
Harrison402764
Clinton397053
Montgomery390584
DeKalb387178
Knox357885
Miami357863
Whitley350638
Huntington348377
Steuben339855
Wabash333076
Putnam331960
Ripley327862
Adams325149
Jasper318443
White298052
Jefferson295974
Daviess285696
Fayette272656
Decatur271388
Greene262280
Posey261432
Wells258975
Scott251450
LaGrange242170
Clay241444
Randolph225877
Spencer219330
Jennings216344
Washington213027
Sullivan203639
Fountain202542
Starke189251
Owen183453
Fulton179637
Jay178528
Carroll176919
Perry173836
Orange171351
Rush165422
Vermillion161542
Franklin159735
Tipton149241
Parke140116
Pike128433
Blackford120627
Pulaski107544
Newton96732
Brown95240
Benton92413
Crawford92113
Martin80314
Warren75914
Switzerland7558
Union67510
Ohio54111
Unassigned0434

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 976230

Reported Deaths: 17501
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1127971251
Cuyahoga966701881
Hamilton737981067
Montgomery47453923
Summit40562831
Butler35750531
Lucas35685720
Stark29548826
Warren22539275
Lorain22149424
Mahoning19556551
Lake18509332
Clermont18484205
Delaware16576121
Licking15063194
Fairfield14622188
Trumbull14397424
Greene13636221
Medina13484237
Clark12352256
Wood11633170
Portage11104172
Allen10815216
Richland10360188
Miami10055194
Muskingum8224117
Columbiana8165210
Pickaway8085111
Tuscarawas8065232
Marion8015127
Wayne7915199
Erie6948146
Ross6170132
Geauga6105142
Hancock6021121
Ashtabula5998154
Scioto599188
Lawrence527186
Union515641
Darke5046116
Belmont4990137
Huron4848108
Jefferson4831137
Sandusky4791112
Washington473696
Seneca4720111
Athens465849
Mercer459181
Auglaize456682
Shelby442579
Knox4053105
Putnam400393
Madison394755
Fulton382561
Ashland381983
Brown374352
Defiance373588
Crawford359598
Logan356973
Preble353887
Clinton342055
Highland328451
Ottawa325171
Williams303268
Jackson291246
Champaign290149
Guernsey288745
Perry270748
Fayette269843
Morrow261137
Henry247361
Hardin246859
Holmes244097
Coshocton240056
Van Wert230257
Gallia223538
Adams218139
Pike216728
Wyandot212050
Hocking194954
Carroll181743
Paulding160834
Meigs136031
Noble129233
Monroe117137
Morgan101620
Harrison100731
Vinton76613
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Clear
33° wxIcon
Hi: 44° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: 25°
Angola
Clear
28° wxIcon
Hi: 41° Lo: 21°
Feels Like: 21°
Huntington
Partly Cloudy
32° wxIcon
Hi: 44° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: 27°
Fort Wayne
Clear
33° wxIcon
Hi: 44° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 25°
Lima
Partly Cloudy
31° wxIcon
Hi: 45° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: 24°
Sunny Sunday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events