Geologists in Hawaii said seismic activity lessened Sunday on the Big Island near the erupting Kilauea volcano, down to 31 magnitude-2 quakes from an astounding 152 level-3 events measured a day earlier—even as scientists reported red-hot lava shooting more than 200 feet in the air. At least 26 homes have been destroyed in the neighboring Leilani Estates subdivision since the eruption began Thursday, with nearly 1,800 residents now evacuated. Scientists announced two additional fissures had emerged, bringing the total to 10 cracks surrounding the peak. Civil-defense officials pleaded with the gawking public to stay away: “Please, the residents of Leilani need your help. This is not the time for sightseeing. You can help tremendously by staying out of the area.” The AP reports there is “no indication when the lava might stop or how far it might spread” and the U.S. Geological Survey expects lava-filled fissures “to keep spewing” in the neighborhood. Sunday was the first day authorities allowed residents to make a quick dash to their properties to collect pets and other essentials left behind during the evacuation.
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