PUNA, BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) -
Residents in Puna's Leilani Estates subdivision fled with little more than the clothes on their backs Thursday night after an eruption in Kilauea's east rift zone created a fissure in the community, spewing lava into the air as high as utility poles, covering roads and nearing several homes.
Dramatic drone footage at the site.
No reason Bruce can't go out and mow.
In an interview with Hawaii News Now, Ige urged evacuees to "stay calm" and continue to stay tuned to emergency alerts.
Those residents fled their homes Thursday evening with few belongings — just what they could collect in the minutes they had to leave, as officers went door-to-door to ensure everyone got out. One resident said he grabbed his father's ashes as he ran out the door.
"My family is safe, the rest of the stuff can be replaced," another resident said. "When I bought here 14 years, I knew that this day would eventually come. But the reality is sinking in now."
Some residents seemed in disbelief at what they were seeing in their own backyards. In social media posts, they documented lava sputtering up from cracks in the roadway and then angrily boiling up higher and higher getting higher and higher.
Resident Ikaika Marzo said he could see fountains of lava in the community topping 100 feet.
He was among the first people in Leilani Estates to spot the active lava. And as soon as he did, he started notifying anyone he could find.
"When we drove on that road, we heard a noise in the forest and it was like a little thump," he said. "Next thing, like three to five seconds after that, we smelled sulfur. After that, that's when there was tons of sulfur. Then we saw some lava popping out."