Washington, May 15 (IANS) A "condition red" air quality alert has been issued after the Hawaii Fire Department reported that fissures near the Kilauea volcano were releasing high levels of sulfur dioxide gas.

Hawaii civil officials on Monday urged residents to take action to limit further exposure, warning that "condition red" means immediate danger to health, Xinhua news agency reported.

The situation can lead to severe problems like choking and an inability to breathe, said the Hawaii County Civil Defence.

The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (HEMA) offered suggestions to residents about how to cope with hazardous volcanic gas emissions in an emergency proclamation.

"Leaving the area of volcanic activity or sheltering in place are the best ways to protect yourself and your family," it said.

HEMA officials recommended that residents avoid outdoor activities, drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration, stay indoors and close windows and doors prior to gas inundation.

Kilauea, one of the world's most active volcanoes, has been spitting lava since 10 days. Lava flowing from fissures on its flank had destroyed dozens of homes and other buildings and caused the evacuation of thousands of residents.

--IANS

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