Hawaii on high alert after day of earthquakes, more lava fissures

06 May, 2018, 05:13 | Author: Dustin Murphy
  • Recent earthquakes as of 8:12 a.m. Tuesday

The Kilauea volcano sent more lava into Hawaii communities Friday, a day after forcing almost 1,500 people to flee from their mountainside homes, and authorities detected high levels of sulfur gas that could threaten the elderly and people with breathing problems.

U.S. Geological Survey geologist Janet Babb says there were eight by Saturday morning, two more than what was calculated the night before.

The Washington Post reports that a day after the volcanic eruption on the big island of Hawaii, two major earthquakes struck the area.

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Hundreds of people have left their homes in Hawaii after a volcano eruption and an natural disaster hit the island, destroying at least two properties.

The quake, although the most powerful on the island since 1975 according to CNN, was not as destructive as feared, authorities said. If conditions worsened, even first responders would not be able to go into the affected neighborhoods to help trapped residents, she added.

Harry Kim, mayor of Hawaii County, said the government will support residents who want to go back to their homes to pick up some belongings.

Kilauea is one of the world's most active volcanoes.

One Hawaii resident described a line of lava snaking through forest land as a "curtain of fire".

On the other hand, the volcano devastation showed no signs of abating as Magno said on Friday the at least five volcanic vents had opened and the eruption did not " look like it is slowing down".

Images showed lava shooting more than 100 feet in the air and bubbling up from the ground. The lava flow has prompted the mandatory evacuation of about 1,700 residents of Leilani Estates.

Osuna says it wasn't just a visual experience.

About 14,000 customers of Hawaii Electric Light lost power immediately after Friday's 6.9 magnitude quake. She said her family will stay with friends in Hilo, about 25 miles away, until it is safe for them to return.

"We were trying to figure out what's the most important thing to grab", she said.

No injuries or deaths were reported, but Hawaii Governor David Ige activated the Hawaii National Guard to provide emergency help. (Jeremiah Osuna, via Reuters). Civil defense agency officials have warned residents to stay away from the volcano, as the high levels of sulfur dioxide from the gas of the lava can cause skin irritations and can make breathing hard.

In the uncertainty, however, some residents found comfort in the abiding beauty of the Big Island. Exposure to the gas can cause irritation or burns, sore throats, runny noses, burning eyes and coughing.

Senior citizens, the young and people with respiratory issues have extra incentive to leave the evacuation zone, because they are especially vulnerable to the gas, the state's Emergency Management Agency said.

County, state and federal officials had been warning residents all week that they should be prepared to evacuate because an eruption would give little warning.

Geologists said the current seismic activities around Puna most closely resemble the events that precipitated a 1955 eruption, according to Hawaii News Now.

Since Monday, hundreds of earthquakes - majority around 2.0 magnitude - have been recorded in the area.

The lava outbreak came after hundreds of small earthquakes in recent days that followed the collapse of a crater floor on the Puu Oo volcanic cone.

Lava was about 1,000 yards from her home, which Woolsey built on a lot purchased for $35,000 11 years ago after living on Maui became too expensive.

She said the flurry of earthquakes seemed to happen every minute.


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