A day after the Kilauea volcano erupted on Hawaii’s Big Island, the state experienced its strongest earthquake in 43 years. Hundreds of people have been forced to evacuate their homes due to the threat of lava and sulfur dioxide gas, NPR reported.
The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) updated on Monday evening that volcanic activity has subsided, but toxic fumes were still a danger. At least 31 homes have been destroyed by lava flow. Although a limited number of residents are being allowed to check on their property, there is no time frame for when residents will be able to permanently return to the area.
A temporary flight restriction was in place for part of the island, Hawaii News Now reported, and some airlines are waiving flight change fees for travelers impacted by the eruption. (If you are traveling to the area, check the status of your flight with your airline.)
While the sight of spewing lava is intriguing to many, authorities are warning people to stay away from the volcanic activity. “This is not the time for sightseeing,” HVO on its website. “You can help tremendously by staying out of the area.”
Locals and officials have been sharing updates, photos and videos of the situation on social media, and the footage is both astounding and terrifying.