>> Evacuate in 24 hours, or face possible arrest. That's what authorities told members of the Leilani Estates neighborhood on Thursday, one of the communities hardest hit by the Kilauea volcano eruption. They say it's officially off-limits.>> Mandated. That's the word. This is a mandatory evacuation order. And it means what it says.
>> It comes as volcanic activity from Kilauea enters its fifth week. Civil defense officials say about 2,000 residence have been displaced since May 3rd. But that number is estimated to have risen to 2,500, as fast moving lava forces new evacuations. In the months since Kilauea's eruption began disrupting lives, at least 75 homes have been damaged by creeping streams of red, hot molten rock.
And more are at risk. Power and telephone lines have been spotty, and days have been punctuated by frequent earthquakes. This fissure in Leilani Estates as one of the most active so far. At times, it spews lava as high as 200 feet into the air. It also regularly belches high levels of toxic sulfur dioxide gas.
Geologists say they see no end in sight.>> The scientific aspect of this is fascinating, but it's tampered hugely by the fact that this is a neighborhood and people have lost homes.>> This latest evacuation order comes a day after police arrested a 62-year-old resident who fired a hand gun over the head of his younger neighbor, apparently mistaking him for an intruder or a looter.
Officials deny the mandatory evacuation is tied to the incident.