Trump declares Hawaii a disaster zone amid volcano eruption

The Pavlof volcano erupts on Alaska's remote Aleutian Island archipelago in March 2016

Ken Gadd, a first-time visitor from Dayton, Ohio, takes pictures of the entrance to Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii, Friday.

Hawaii tourism officials are hoping Kilauea's eruption won't deter travelers from visiting the state's largest island, even as geologists warn the volcano could soon shoot large boulders out of its summit.

Residents of Puna are also being told they can evacuate voluntarily to one of two evacuation shelters at Pahoa and Keaau community centers.

Since the eruption started more than a week ago, 36 structures, including 27 homes, have been destroyed.

Hawaii County authorities advised residents on the Big Island through a text message to monitor their sensitivity to increased levels of SO2, a toxic gas.

"Earthquake activity, ground deformation, and continuing high emission rates of sulphur dioxide in the area indicate additional outbreaks of lava are likely as this eruption continues".

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"The situation remains unstable", she said.

The latest upheaval at Kilauea began last week after the crater floor of a long-active side vent collapsed suddenly in a cloud of ash, triggering a similar plunge in the molten lake inside the larger crater at the volcano's summit.

During an evening meeting with community members, an official with the United States Geological Survey's Hawaii Volcano Observatory said that while no new fissures have opened during the last 24 hours, there has been "quite a bit" of ground cracking over the last day and that they were releasing steam.

The Hawaii Volcano Observatory reported "no significant lava flow" from a new fissure Saturday morning, but said that "conditions could change quickly". Rocks "the size of cows" could be hurled as far as 800 meters from the site of the blast, according to one expert who spoke to local media. Fresher magma may also produce lava fountains that shoot higher into the air and larger, faster-moving lava flows.

President Donald Trump has declared the ongoing Kilauea volcanic eruption on Hawaii's Big Island a major disaster.

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