Today we bring saddening news regarding the eruption in a neighboring community; Leilani Estates. As of yesterday (Thursday, May 3rd 2018) lava erupted into Leilani Estates on Mohala Street, prompting officials to close off sections of Leilani.
Hawaii County workers, and USGS geologists were aware of a few cracks located in Leilani and along Pohoiki Road. They have been monitoring these cracks, and around 4:00 PM (Thursday), the fissure in Leilani Estates on Mohala Street erupted. We have one of our head guides keeping everyone informed live on his Facebook page on current events as they happen.
Once the eruption happened the police department and county officials started an evacuation process of residents living in lower Leilani. After a few hours, all residents were told to evacuate. Alerts were sent on mobile devices that a mandatory evacuation was in effect.
Early this morning all residents were told to evacuate (if they hadn’t already), due to dangerous sulfur dioxide. Many residents have gotten little to no sleep within this past day. Some are scrambling to get their belongings out, and many are being denied access to their home. There are many spectators trying to get photo opportunities, and be in the ‘action.’ We ask on behalf of those who may not be able to, to have RESPECT for those who need to return home one last time. Please do not make this time of grief as a time for photo ops and to say “I was here/there.”
Many residents were not able to get many household items out, before being told to leave. For some residents this isn’t the first time they have had to deal with a lava threatening their home. For some it is new, and unknown. No matter what their experience in this type of situation is; the feeling is still the same; sadness, disbelief.
Shelters have been opened for those who may need a place to stay. Hawaii County Civil Defense is keeping everyone updated on the current lava situations via text messages, and radio stations. The local news channels are on the scene as well. Please keep yourself informed.
In this difficult time we ask that you please keep Leilani Estates and Puna in your thoughts and prayers.