Hundreds Forced To Evacuate After Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano Erupts

Hawaii Erupts

When the Kilauea Volcano blew, the ground opened and lava sprayed the air.

Kilauea, one of the most active volcanos on earth, erupted in dramatic fashion on Thursday following a series of earthquakes that jolted Hawaii. The governor of Hawaii declared a local state of emergency, ordering the evacuation of some 10,000 people.

Lava in the Fast Lane Handout/Getty Images Lava in the Fast Lane

Leilani Estates, a serene residential neighborhood in Pahoa, on the southeastern edge of the Big Island, found itself in harm's way as hot lava spewed from yawning fissures in the ground. The lava has cut off roads and engulfed at least 26 homes.

The Earth Breathes Fire FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images The Earth Breathes Fire

Boiling lava and molten rocks can shoot hundreds of feet in the air and release a dangerous level of sulfuric dioxide fumes.

Letting Off Steam FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images Letting Off Steam

As of Sunday night, at least 10 fissures were counted in the area, and scientists predicted more would form, although it is difficult to predict precisely where. Here, steam rises from a fissure on a road in Leilani Estates on May 4, 2018.

Ashes to Ashes Handout/Getty Images Ashes to Ashes

The 5 million-year-old Kilauea is one of the Hawaii's youngest volcanos and has been erupting continually since 1983; typically, the lava flows south into the ocean, sparing residential areas. Here, ash plumes rise from the Puu Oo crater, a main vent of Kilauea, on May 3, 2018 in Hawaii's Volcanoes National Park, which has been closed down and evacuated.

A Scar in the Sky Handout/Getty Images A Scar in the Sky

Kilauea's volcanic activity shows no sign of slowing down, and it's uncertain when life will return to normal on the normally tranquil island.