After authorities had warned for several days of an impending eruption, Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano delivered Thursday. White clouds of steam and volcanic gases rose high in the sky above the southeastern part of Hawaii Island.
A river of destructive lava flowing underground was released around 4:30 p.m. local time into a residential subdivision, prompting people in the area to pack their belongings and abandon their homes, witnesses told The Washington Post. Shortly after 5 p.m., lava “spatter began erupting,” according to the U.S. Geological Service.
On some streets the bright red-orange lava could be seen spurting out of cracks in the ground. The deafening sound of grinding rocks filled the air and “white, hot vapor and blue fume emanated” from the cracking, the service reported.
“It sounded like there were rocks in a dryer that were being tumbled around,” said Jeremiah Osuna, who lives near Leilani Estates, one of two subdivisions evacuated. “You could hear the power ……………