Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano has been spewing lava ever since it started erupting on May 3. More than 1,700 local residents have been evacuated from the volcano's East Rift Zone on the Big Island of Hawaii, where lava from 20 fissure vents has destroyed 26 homes.
And even now, people can’t stop taking selfies with the dangerous volcano and posting them on social media.
“The fissures are deadly, very deadly. We’re currently in a condition red because of the increased ash in the area,” Alan Richmond, spokesman for the Hawaii Police Department, , explaining why people should not even be visiting the lava flows, let alone be taking selfies with them.
“We’ve had no injuries, which is the good news,” Richmond said. “Everybody is on standby. It’s a dicey situation and no one knows how long it will last and how it will end, just dealing with Mother Nature.”
In order to protect people, the Hawaii Police has set up roadblocks to prevent nonresidents from entering nearby neighborhoods to snap photos.
Even though attention of late has turned to the Halemaumau crater that exploded Thursday morning at 4:15 a.m., sending an ash plume shooting 30,000 feet into the sky, the East Rift Zone continues to splatter hot lava into residential neighborhoods from up to 20 fissures.
Despite police having to turn people way from seeking out volcano selfies too close to Kilauea, Hawaii’s tourism is suffering currently because of the eruption. According to Ross Birch, executive director of the island’s tourism board, cancellations between May and July have already reached $5 million, .