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Hawaii volcano eruption: What Canadians need to know

Click to play video 'Stunning video shows lava rising from massive crack caused by Hawaii volcano eruption' Stunning video shows lava rising from massive crack caused by Hawaii volcano eruption
WATCH ABOVE: Stunning video shows lava rising from massive crack caused by Hawaii volcano eruption – May 4, 2018

Hundreds of people are under an evacuation order on Friday after Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano came to life, spewing ash into the sky as fountains of lava bubbled out through the forest and on paved streets.

READ MORE: Hawaii volcano erupts, forces 1,500 to flee homes as lava bubbles up

The volcano erupted Thursday afternoon and officials are not sure how long it will last.

If you’re travelling in the area anytime soon, here is everything Canadians need to know about the volcano eruption.

What happened?

The volcano erupted after a series of earthquakes over the past few days, including a 5.0 tremor earlier in the day, the U.S. Geological Survey reported on its website.

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Since April 30, following the collapse of the Puu Oo crater floor, around 250 earthquakes rocked the eastern side of the Big Island of Hawaii. The collapse sent lava down the mountain’s slopes toward populated areas.

WATCH: Volcanic eruption forces evacuations in Hawaii

Click to play video 'Volcanic eruption forces evacuations in Hawaii' Volcanic eruption forces evacuations in Hawaii
Volcanic eruption forces evacuations in Hawaii – May 4, 2018

Where is the volcano?

The Kilauea Volcano is one of the five on Hawaii’s Big Island — and one of the most active in the world. In fact, the volcano’s name means “spewing” in the Hawaiian language.

The volcano, which is around 300,000 to 600,000 years old, makes up the southeastern side of the island. It’s been erupting nearly continuously for more than three decades.

Kīlauea volcano is located along the southern shore in the Hawaiian Islands and is the most active of the five volcanoes that together form the island.
Kīlauea volcano is located along the southern shore in the Hawaiian Islands and is the most active of the five volcanoes that together form the island. Google Maps

What is the danger?

Kilauea volcano spewed lava into Leilani Estates, a subdivision of about 1,700 people near the Big Island’s eastern edge.

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Volcano officials couldn’t predict how long the eruption will last, prompting Hawaii’s governor to activate the National Guard to help with evacuations in the area.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory has warned that new lava outbreaks remain a possibility.

WATCH: Massive crack appears in road after Hawaii volcano eruption

Click to play video '‘You can feel the heat’: Man shows massive crack in road after Hawaii volcano eruption' ‘You can feel the heat’: Man shows massive crack in road after Hawaii volcano eruption
‘You can feel the heat’: Man shows massive crack in road after Hawaii volcano eruption – May 4, 2018

Asta Miklius, a geophysicist with the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, told the Associated Press the volcano has “quite a bit of magma in the system.”

Extremely high levels of dangerous sulphur dioxide gas have been detected in the evacuation area, the Civil Defense Agency said.

What is closed?

Tourist boat rides, hiking and general tours have been suspended in the area.

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Due to the possibility of a new eruption, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has closed off around 63 square kilometres near the Puu Oo vent. Most of the 1,348 square kilometre park remains open.

Visitors hoping to view the volcanic activity and can look at the volcano’s main crater, Halemaumau, from the Jaggar Museum overlook, according to the National Park Service.

For updates on the volcanic eruption, you can check out the County of Hawaii website.

WATCH: Hawaii’s governor issues an emergency proclamation after volcano eruption

Click to play video 'Hawaii’s governor issues an emergency proclamation after volcano eruption' Hawaii’s governor issues an emergency proclamation after volcano eruption
Hawaii’s governor issues an emergency proclamation after volcano eruption – May 4, 2018

Are flights canceled?

Hawaiian Airlines cancelled flights to the area due to the threat of volcanic activity. However, travellers can change their reservation without being charged.

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At the time of publication, flights to Hawaii from Canada have not been cancelled.

Is Canada issuing a travel warning?

The Canadian government website has not issued a travel warning for Hawaii.

— With files from Reuters