Hawaii volcano sends more lava and sulfur gas into communities

Associated Press

PAHOA, Hawaii

The Kilauea volcano sent more lava into Hawaii communities Friday, a day after forcing more than 1,500 people to flee their rural homes, and authorities detected high levels of sulfur gas that could threaten elderly people and those with breathing problems.

The eruption that began with lava flying into the sky from a crack in a road persisted with reports of molten rock spurting from several volcanic vents. Neighborhoods downhill from the vents were at risk of being covered up. At least two homes were destroyed, officials said.

A huge magnitude-6.9 earthquake has rattled an area near the south part of the volcano, but the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said there was no threat of a tsunami and transportation officials said no damage to roads has been reported. It came after a magnitude-5.4 earthquake struck the same area Friday.

Civil-defense officials cautioned the public about high levels of sulfur dioxide near the volcano and urged vulnerable people to leave immediately. Exposure to the gas can cause irritation or burns, sore throats, runny noses, burning eyes and coughing.

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