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Red Cross Helps as Hawaii Volcano Causes New Threats

Residents on the Big Island in Hawaii continue to deal with various threats about three weeks after the Kilauea volcano began erupting and the American Red Cross is on the ground helping those affected.

In addition to continued volcanic eruptions, residents are dealing with devastating lava flow, toxic gases and something called laze - clouds of toxic gas, steam and tiny glass particles. As many as 22 fissures have opened, spewing lava. Volcanic fissures are openings in the earth’s surface through which lava erupts. The volcano has destroyed 44 structures, including more than 24 homes and has caused power outages, road closures and brush fires. As many as 2,000 people remain under mandatory evacuation orders and officials say others should be ready to evacuate at a moment’s notice, that the volcano shows no signs of quieting down.

RED CROSS RESPONSE The Red Cross has five shelters open where more than 130 people spent Monday night. Since the volcanic activity began, trained Red Cross workers have provided more than 3,400 overnight stays in shelters and served almost 14,000 snacks. Red Cross health and mental health volunteers are in the shelters and have already provided more than 2,700 services. In addition, the Red Cross is working with the Salvation Army to provide meals.

People are urged to evacuate if told to do so by officials.

HOW YOU CAN HELP Please click, text or call to donate to American Red Cross Disaster Relief to help people affected by disasters big and small. Visit redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Every single donation brings hope to those in need. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small.

STAY IN TOUCH People can reconnect with loved ones through both the Red Cross Safe and Well website at redcross.org/safeandwell and by using the “I’m Safe” feature of the Red Cross Emergency App. The Safe and Well site allows individuals and organizations to register and post messages to indicate that they are safe, or to search for loved ones. The site is always available, open to the public and available in Spanish. Registrations and searches can be done directly on the website. Registrations can also be completed by texting SAFE to 78876.

You can download the free Red Cross Emergency App at redcross.org/apps to receive emergency alerts as well as locations of shelters. Users can also find the app in smartphone app stores by searching for the American Red Cross.

STAY SAFE Important Red Cross volcano safety information is available here.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

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