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>> Thousands of Hawaii residents have fled their homes after one of the island chains volcanoes spewed piles of ash and lava into residential areas on Thursday. The Kilauea volcano on Hawaii's Big Island erupted after days of tremors. The eruption sent fiery magma into the streets and forced the evacuations of around 17,000 people from the Puna area.
Pictures showed cracks opening up in roads, and one witness told local media he had seen fountains of lava up to 125 feet high.>> My neighbor came running over, he says what is that awful noise? And he said, I've never heard a noise like that and he's been here for 40 years.
So we started checking it out and somebody else saw it and said hey that's right there. It's flowing now. You need to get out.>> The eruption happened after a series of earthquakes on the Big Island over the past few days, including a magnitude five tremor, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
Hawaii's Governor David Ige said on Twitter he'd activated the state's National Guard to support emergency services with the evacuation. The Kilauea volcano has been erupting nearly continuously for more then 30 years. The US GS says over that time, lava flows from the volcano have buried around 50 square miles of land.