Volcanic activity in Hawaii 'doesn't look like it's slowing down'

Hawaiian residents continued to brace themselves Saturday for additional tremors, volcanic eruptions and toxic gas, days after lava spilling from the Big Island’s most active volcano forced more than 1,700 people to flee from there homes.

“Activity continues and it doesn’t look like its slowing down,” said Civil Defense Administrator Talmadge Magno.

Multiple new vents, several of which continue to spew lava, have developed in the days since the Kilauea volcano erupted, spitting molten lava and sulfuric acid into residential neighborhoods in the Puna District.

The sixth and latest vent opened Saturday near Leilani Avenue and Kahukai Road, according the US Geological Survey.

The opening of the eruptive fissures were preceded by a series of smaller earthquakes earlier in the week. They continued throughout the day Friday, with a massive 6.9-magnitude earthquake shaking the island around 12:33 p.m. local time.

RELATED: Kilauea volcano erupts, sparking evacuations in Hawaii

It left thousands without power and triggered a series of landslides along the northeastern coast, but officials with the Hawaii County Civil Defense later confirmed there was little treat of a tsunami.

Aerial video filmed by the Hawaiian National Guard sees rivers of lava oozing through residential and wooded areas alike. Plumes of smoke continued to hang in the air Saturday while sparks and lava continued to shoot, sometimes as high as 150 feet, into the sky.

All residents of Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens Subdivision have been put on evacuation notice, with several agencies — including police, fire and the National Guard — assisitng in relocation efforts.

The Pahoa Community and Kea’au Community centers have been transformed into shelters for those displaced by the volcanic activity.

“The area continues to be unstable with multiple volcanic eruptions happening. No one is allowed in the area,” Civil Defense officials said.

“Do not attempt to return to you home at this time.”

Hawaii Fire Department warned of “extrememly dangerous conditions due to high levels of Sulfur Dioxide gas in the evacuation area,” noting that elderly and youth with respiratory issues are “especially vulnerable.”

The Department of Water Supply on Saturday also issued an emergency water restriction for Leilani Estates, Nanawale Estates and Papho and Lanupuna gardens.

“All water supply customers must immediately restrict water use to health and safety needs only,” officials said.

With News Wire Services