Hawaii declares state of emergency over volcano eruption

Published: May 04, 2018 17:58:24 | Updated: May 05, 2018 17:56:43

Mount Kilauea volcano on Friday has erupted near a residential area on Hawaii's largest island, prompting a local state of emergency and the mandatory evacuation of 1,700 residents.

Extremely high levels of dangerous sulphur dioxide gas have been detected in the evacuation area, the Civil Defense Agency tweeted.

Community centres have been opened to provide shelter, as per BBC report.

The eruption follows a series of strong earthquakes over recent days.

A volcanic crater vent - known as Puu Oo - collapsed earlier this week, sending lava down the mountain's slopes towards populated areas.

Officials had been warning residents all week they should be prepared to evacuate as an eruption would give little warning.

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