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Hawaii eruptions spread, no deaths or major injuries reported

Staff Writer |
Emergency authorities battling lava flows and gas erupting from Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano warned some residents to “go now” as a new fissure opened and more structures were destroyed.

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The volcano has destroyed 26 homes and forced 1,700 people to leave their residences since Thursday’s eruption, spewing lava and toxic gas from volcanic vents in the eastern corner of Hawaii’s Big Island, home to about 200,000 people.

A new fissure opened Sunday night in the Leilani Estates area some 12 miles (19 km) from the volcano, prompting a cellphone alert for residents to leave homes to avoid sulfur dioxide gas, which can be life threatening at high levels.

So far no deaths or major injuries have been reported, the Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency said.

Early Monday, 161 people were housed at two shelters on the island, the Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency said.

Eruptions of lava and gas were expected to continue, along with aftershocks from Friday’s 6.9 magnitude earthquake, the largest in the area since 1975, according to the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

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