Declared an emergency and prompting mandatory evacuation from surrounding affected areas, Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano erupts. All residents in surrounding areas are being forced to evacuate, that’s more than 1,700 people. The Red Cross has recently opened shelters for those affected. The eruption happened Thursday evening after hundreds of reported earthquakes in the areas. Residents were already fearful from the near constant trembling grounds and roads being cracked, this led to officials declaring an evacuation warning. After an earthquake with the magnitude of 5.0 in Puna, the volcano erupted. The looming threat of Kilauea erupting has been a fear and reality for many residents since 1983.
Emergency officials say one of the biggest concerns is the leaking of sulfur dioxide gas into the air as a result of the eruption. There was so much gas released in the air that park rangers had to shut down the park and evacuate visitors, a first time in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park history. Sulfur dioxide can be very harmful and cause a number of health problems such as burns, burning eyes, and coughing to list a few. As of now there has been a temporary flight restriction on the areas of lower Puna, officials will keep monitoring the situation.