Hawaii Residents Already Battling Lava Now Face Toxic Gas

Residents of a small community on Hawaii’s Big Island have been warned that fissures squirting out steam and lava following Thursday’s volcanic eruption are also sending toxic gas into the area. With five houses already destroyed after the Kilauea volcano erupted, a new fissure in the Leilani Estates area, where more than 1,500 people have evacuated, sent lava 230 feet into the air Saturday. Officials said the fissures pose a triple threat for any residents who choose to stay, with dangerous sulfur dioxide gas in addition to the lava and steam. “Those remaining in Leilani and Lanipuna Gardens and along Pohoiki Road need to prepare to leave because if the winds change, you could be gassed,” Hawaii County Council member Eileen O’Hara warned on Facebook. Authorities say additional eruptions are expected to continue, and they could go on for months.