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PAHOA, Hawaii (Reuters) – Hawaii residents were alerted on Thursday to rising levels of toxic gas from volcanic fissures and geologists warned that new areas east of the erupting Kilauea volcano may be at risk to lava bursting from the ground.

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

“Due to decreasing tradewinds, residents are advised to monitor their sensitivity to increased levels of SO2,” the text message sent at 9.22 a.m. said.

The article goes on to state the following:

Geologists said Kilauea may be entering a phase of explosive eruptions not seen in nearly a century that could hurl “ballistic blocks” weighing up to 12 tons for half a mile (800 meters), shoot pebble-sized projectiles for miles and dust downwind towns with volcanic ash and smog.

The Hawaii volcano has also threatened a power plant, as some 50,000 gallons of potentially explosive solvent is still sitting at the Puna Geothermal Venture power plant. Gov. David Ige has been given the authority to protect the community in regards to the plant.

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