"Leave before the Kilauea volcano's lava traps you"
Hawaii officials tells residents, "Leave before the Kilauea volcano's lava traps you."
Kilauea volcano's lava continues to flaw destroying and damaging dozens of structures in Hawaii. Today morning a fast-moving lava flow crossed over a key highway, taking out power lines rising the number of homes destroyed to over 70.
The Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency confirmed that a total of 71 homes have been destroyed, and they expect the number to rise. There are additional structures that have been destroyed, such as outhouses and sheds, officials added.
A "fast-moving" lava flow covered Hawaii’s Highway 132 on Tuesday. The lava destroyed the local electric utility's equipment on the highway, which knocked out power to Vacationland and Kapoho Beach Lots neighbourhoods toward the coast.
"It took the road," Civil Defense Administrator Talmadge Magno said. "We lost 132 and there's no power down to that area and, as explained to me, it's gonna be an extended outage."
“The eruption has so far destroyed more than 400 utility poles,” the Hawaii Electric Light Co said. The company is evaluating how to provide power to these communities once the eruption is over, but it won't be able to finalize a plan until the area is stable.
The Kilauea volcano has been unleashing danger on the remote, rural southeastern side of the island for nearly a month, displacing thousands of residents.
Lava was shooting up from cracks in the ground and blowing strands of volcanic glass, while explosions at the summit were sending small bursts of volcanic ash as high as 15,000 feet.
The wind was carrying volcanic glass, gases, pollution and ash particles to other parts of the island. Authorities on Tuesday advised residents to minimize exposure to avoid irritation to skin and eyes and breathing problems.
A new fissure has opened, bringing the total number of cracks spouting lava to 24 since the volcano began erupting on May 3, Hawaii County Civil Defense said.
Lava also has covered two wells at a geothermal plant. County officials said the plugged wells were stable and being monitored, and no dangerous gases have been released.
Ormat Technologies, a Nevada company that owns the Puna Geothermal Venture plant, told the Associated Press it could not assess the extent of the damage to the wells.
Fox News' Dan Gallo in Hawaii and the Associated Press contributed to this report.