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"I'm pretty happy that we did evacuate the whole neighborhood and unfortunately some people are still in there and we need to get them out". "All you can do is pray and hope and try to get all the information you can".

Hawaii Gov. David Ige said residents in the area were being sheltered at Pahoa and Kea'au community centers.

The governor activated the Hawaii National Guard to assist emergency responders with evacuations and security.

One woman angrily told police guarding Leilani Estates she was going in and they could not arrest her.

The Hawaiian Volcanoes Observatory said eight volcanic vents opened in the Big Island residential neighborhood of Leilani Estates since Thursday.

Civil defense officials have warned the public about high levels of sulfur dioxide near the volcano, one reason for the evacuation orders.

Residents have faced lava threats before. "Additional erupting fissures and new lava outbreaks may occur", it said.

"Now we are just trying to make plans for the future", she said. It predominantly erupts basaltic lava in effusive eruptions that mostly flow into the ocean but occasionally experiences explosive eruptions.

One local resident, Neil Valentine, told CNN he and his wife had been forced to evacuate "our dream home that we've been looking for all this time", calling the situation "just basically heartbreak".

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"Until we see natural disaster activity dying down and the ground stops moving, it's likely that this activity is going to continue", said Tina Neal, a scientist in charge at the USGS Hawaii Volcano Observatory, after a community meeting attended by about 300 people on Friday. Elderly, young, and people with compromised respiratory systems are especially vulnerable.

Exposure to high levels can be life-threatening, according to the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. It is made of basalt, a fluid lava that makes for effusive - rather than explosive - eruptions.

Sitting with Sugar in his lap, Walton said he's happy to take the bad with the good when it comes to living the island lifestyle: "I knew about the volcano when I moved here".

Kilauea hasn't been the kind of volcano that shoots lava from its summit into the sky, causing widespread destruction. As pressure builds in the magma chamber, the magma seeks weak spots in the surrounding rock, squeezing through until it reaches a vent to the surface.

Local officials closed volcano viewing areas while a portion of the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park was also closed.

"What is slightly unusual, but only for the last tens of years, is that the eruption is taking place quite distant along the East Rift Zone, so close to some settlements".

More recently in 2014, lava again threatened the Puna district, specifically the town of Pahoa and its surrounding area, the Post reported.

But burnt homes and structures are not the only consequences of lava.


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