Published On: Mon, May 21st, 2018

Hawaii volcano eruption: Coast Guard issues major warning as lava ‘fills Pacific Ocean’ | World | News

The Coast Guard has enforced a safety zone that extends 300 metres around where the lava is pouring into the sea.

Lieutenant Commander John Bannon issued Hawaii with a horrifying warning by insisting residents could die if they get too close to affected areas.

He said: “Getting too close to the lava can result in serious injury or death.”

Hawaii County officials have disclosed two lava flows are pouring into the Pacific.

The red hot lava entering the ocean is resulting in “laze”, a steam filled with glass particles and hydrochloric acid that can have horrifying results on residents.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) said: “Even the wispy edges of it can cause skin and eye irritation and breathing difficulties.”

Wendy Stovall, a scientist for the body, said the frightening plumes are blowing off the island’s southeast coast.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory has declared sulphur dioxide emissions have tripled in the area as a series of natural disasters continue to plague the Big Island.

Yesterday the first injury caused by the horrific eruptions emerged.

A resident was struck by lava spatter, shattering his leg from shin to foot, according to Janet Snyder, a spokeswoman for the Hawaii County Mayor.

She said: “It hit him on the shin and shattered everything there down on his leg.”

She also detailed the frightening capabilities of the red-hot lava spatter.

Ms Snyder said spatters “can weigh as much as a refrigerator and even small pieces of spatter can kill”.

Although exact numbers of evacuees are uncertain, it is understood officials have continued to go to residents’ homes in a desperate effort to urge them to leave.

Joseph Kekedi, an orchid grower on the island who lives roughly three miles from where lava is spewing, insisted the natural disasters are “nature reminding us again who’s boss”.

Over 20 fissures have opened up around the area since the initial eruption of the Kilauea volcano, while reports of ballistic rocks being fired 30,000ft into the air also had locals on standby yesterday.

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Hawaii volcano eruption: Coast Guard issues major warning as lava ‘fills Pacific Ocean’ | World | News