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Toxic gas alert for Hawaii volcano eruption

Residents on the Big Island of Hawaii were alerted on Thursday to rising levels of toxic gas from lava-oozing fissures, and geologists warned that new areas east of the erupting Kilauea volcano may be at risk to molten rock bursting from the ground.

Hawaii County authorities sent a text message to residents of the southeast corner of the island notifying them that a wind change would bring rising levels of sulfur dioxide gas, which can be fatal if inhaled in large quantities.

“Due to decreasing trade winds, residents are advised to monitor their sensitivity to increased levels of SO2,” the text message sent at 9:22 a.m. said.

Ash spews from the Puu Oo crater on Hawaii's Kilauea volcano on May 3, 2018 in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

U.S. Geological Survey | Getty Images
Ash spews from the Puu Oo crater on Hawaii's Kilauea volcano on May 3, 2018 in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.