High Alert: Hawaii Volcano Lava Now Entering Ocean From Third Flow and Triggering More Fears
Lava entered the ocean from a third flow, marking the third week of a Hawaii volcano eruption that has opened up nearly two dozen vents in rural communities, hot miles-high plumes of ash into the sky.
Low lava fountains were erupting from a nearly continuous 2-mile-long (3.22-kilometer) portion of the series of fissures that have opened up in the ground, scientists said Thursday. The fountains were feeding channelized lava flows down to the coast. The eastern-most channel split, creating three ocean entries Wednesday.
Hawaii officials have said they may need to evacuate a thousand more people if lava crosses key highways and isolates communities in the mostly rural part of the island where the Kilauea volcano is erupting.
A blocked highway would cut people off from the only route to grocery stores, schools and hospitals.
The U.S. Marine Corps said Thursday that it has sent two CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters from a base near Honolulu to help if more evacuations become necessary. Each helicopter can carry 50 passengers.