Evacuations Ordered Around Hawaiian Volcano

Officials worry wind will push fumes into settled areas
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 9, 2008 2:27 PM CDT
A helicopter flies near a cloud of sulfur dioxide gas and ash rising from the Halemaumau crater of Kilauea volcano in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on Wednesday, March 26, 2008.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Officials ordered the evacuation of Hawaii's Volcanoes National Park yesterday due to potentially poisonous fumes seeping from two craters. Voluntary evacuations of nearby towns were also announced, but few people have left, reports the Honolulu Advertiser. "We still remain on alert and we're going to monitor 24/7 to make sure people are safe," says the Big Island's mayor.

Most area residents say that they have seen worse conditions in the past and intend to stay put. "I'm very reluctant to evacuate, especially when it's still very livable, and I think part of that is because it's been on the news now. We would just be a target for break-ins," says one.