Sunday, 23 September, 2018

Hawaii residents shaken by tremors, brace for new lava outbreaks

Major disaster on Hawaii's Big Island Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed
Lisa Bryan | 12 May, 2018, 20:59

It's uncertain how big the explosions could be but scientists have said that Hawaii's Kilauea volcano appears to be mimicking behavior last seen in 1924.

Steam and gas rise in Leilani Estates in the aftermath of the Kilauea volcano eruption on Hawaii's Big Island, May 10, 2018, in Pahoa, Hawaii.

"We know what people are going through in Leilani Estates".

As long as people stay away, they will be safe, Johnson said, noting that residents are likely well aware of the potential dangers while tourists may be less so. As that magma flows from the chamber and out of the fissures on the volcano's flanks, the lava level in the center crater falls.

Smigelski-Theiss says she's anxious potential flight disruptions would strand them on the island.

The Hawaii Volcanoes National Park around the summit was closed to visitors on Thursday, given risks of the first explosive eruptions in almost a century, which could launch refrigerator-sized "ballistic blocks" over half a mile (0.8 km) and send ash columns tens of thousands of feet into the atmosphere.

And now, scientists are warning that an explosive eruption may occur at the summit crater within weeks.

On Thursday night, Hawaii County officials sent a text message warning residents that changing wind patterns could bring more sulfur dioxide gas from the volcano into the air, which can cause respiratory problems and, in some cases, death.

Hawaii County Civil Defense officials urged residents in a community near Kilauea Volcano to be vigilant amid ongoing volcanic activity and hazardous emissions - and to be prepared to evacuated on short notice, CBS Honolulu affiliate KGMB reports.


No one lives in the immediate area of the summit crater. Smigelski-Theiss says she's anxious potential flight disruptions would strand them on the island.

Active eruption of lava from fissures some 25 miles (40.2 kilometers) east of the summit has paused. There were no eruptions overnight, but the O'Neal said the situation is still unstable.

While locals contend with lava and gas on the ground, explosions at Kilauea's summit about 40km to the west were dusting communities with ash that irritated eyes and breathing.

Authorities ordered two subdivisions in the area to evacuate last week.

"If it goes up, it will come down", said Charles Mandeville, volcano hazards coordinator for the U.S. Geological Survey. The Puna Geothermal Venture plant has about 50,000 gallons (189,270 liters) of pentane. As a result, lava levels inside the volcano's main crater have been decreasing.

No new fissures have emerged, leaving the total number at 15, authorities said.

Hawaii's Kilauea volcano could soon send boulders and ash shooting out of its summit crater.

Since the eruption started more than a week ago, 36 structures, including 27 homes, have been destroyed.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige said crews at a geothermal energy plant near the lava outbreak accelerated the removal of stored flammable fuel as a precaution on Thursday.

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