Lava flows cut off access to more Hawaii neighbourhoods

HONOLULU — A lava flow from the erupting Kilauea volcano has cut off access to Kapoho and Vacationland on Hawaii’s Big Island, officials said Saturday.

The Hawaii County Civil Defence Agency also said vigorous lava eruptions are continuing in Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens.

The volcano began erupting on May 3, forcing thousands of residents to evacuate and destroying dozens of homes.

County officials said in a news release that there is no access to Kapoho and Vacationland along Highway 132 or Highway 137 because of the lava flow.

Video posted on Twitter showed a heap of smouldering debris blocking the roadway, as smoke billowed into the air.

Officials had issued mandatory orders for residents of Leilani Estates and those in Kapoho Beach and Vacationland to leave by Friday afternoon or risk being trapped and unreachable by emergency crews.

Residents in the nearby areas should also be prepared to evacuate with little notice, officials said.

The erupting Kilauea volcano has been spouting lava, ash and rocks for nearly a month. About two dozen recent fissures in the area have created towering lava fountains and bone-rattling explosions throughout the eruption.

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