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Hawaii volcano eruption resident refuses to leave her home

media captionThe Kilauea volcano erupted after a series of earthquakes on the island.

Residents near erupting Kilauea volcano on Hawaii's largest island have described seeing "unbelievable" colours in the lava and experiencing multiple earthquakes.

After a mandatory evacuation was ordered, some families have left the area, but one resident told the BBC she refuses to leave their home.

A state of emergency has been declared and the Civil Defense Agency tweeted that extremely high levels of dangerous sulphur dioxide gas have been detected in the evacuation zone.

'We'll stay until they make us leave'

Joyce Jennett, 52, and her husband Roger are 1.2 miles (2km) away from the eruption.

"They say there is a mandatory evacuation but no-one's come to tell us we have to go yet. If you do leave, the question is when will they let you back in, and you have to worry about people looting. We'll stay until they make us leave," Ms Jennett explained, adding that earthquakes were occurring as she spoke.

image copyrightJoyce Jennett
image captionJoyce Jennett and her husband live in the evacuation zone but are currently refusing to leave their home

"Our pick-up truck is all packed - our paperwork, some of our artwork that we would hate to see go up, clothes, my jewellery, and stuff for our dog Lara."

Ms Jennett, who is a medical coder, explained they could see grey plumes of smoke near to their home.

"There are cracks in the streets all through the Leilani Estates [where Ms Jennett lives}, so it could happen that another lava flows pops up right here on us, but we've calculated we could get out in five to 10 minutes.

"I don't think we'll be sleeping much tonight. It's kind of a gamble, but neither of us panic easily.

"Now we will just what happens where the lava is going, or if maybe it's slowing down - the problem is they don't know what direction it's going in."

'The lava colour was unbelievable'

After filming lava flowing at the end of their road, Maija Stenback was evacuated from the Leilani Estates along with her daughter, her daughter's boyfriend, two grandchildren aged 20 months and six years, and their dogs.

image copyrightMaija Stenback
image captionMaija Stenback filmed lava flow before being evacuated from her home

"Yesterday the roads started cracking - about 150 yards (137m) from our house, the road was cracking in three places.

"That's when it started getting real. We had an idea of where the lava was travelling under the ground, we just didn't know where and when it would erupt," she explained.

When it erupted she went to see what was happening: "It was like when someone plays the bass really heavy, and you can feel the bass - you could really feel the power and the lava. It sounds very explosive."

image copyrightMaija Stenback
image captionMaija Stenback evacuated her home along with her family

The family has moved to nearby town Hilo to stay with friends.

Maija said: "At this point we have no idea when we can get back, we locked up the house - tomorrow we'll find out more. I haven't had time to put a lot of thought into whether our house will be there tomorrow. It will be day-to-day from here."

'So many earthquakes'

High school student Natalie Myers, 17, is with her family 20 minutes from the eruption zone, and has family living inside the evacuation area.

"There is a huge crack in the road, you can put your whole arm inside of it. It is very earthquakey here. In Hawaii you expect it because we are on an active plate, but this is really scary," she told the BBC.

image copyrightNatalia Myers
image captionNatalie Myers lives 20 minutes away from the eruption zone

"Because of the sulphur in the air, it's hard to breathe, it's disgusting. My friend has breathing problems and needs to evacuate but she can't leave her house."

An evacuated family is staying with Ms Myers, and she's worried about homes and schools nearby after her community was badly affected in previous eruptions.

"Last time the flow nearly took out our school. We're afraid we might not be able to graduate because we can't get to school or hand in work," she said.

"A lot of people don't have home insurance, and we don't want our things to get lost or burnt."

By Georgina Rannard, UGC & Social news

Related Topics

  • Volcanoes
  • Hawaii

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