Tuesday, 14 August, 2018

New crack opens at Hawaii volcano

Hawaii asks Trump to declare state of disaster for volcano eruption Kilauea could erupt with 'once-in-a-century' explosion, geologists warn
Faye Gross | 13 May, 2018, 14:05

Geologists said Kilauea may be entering a new phase of explosive eruptions not seen in almost a century that could hurl "ballistic blocks" weighing up to 12 tons for half a mile (800 meters), and rain pebble-sized fragments for another mile or two (1.8 to 3.2 km). Vog, a haze or smog containing gases, smoke and dust from volcanic eruptions, may eventually spread from the eruptions to other islands in Hawaii.

Residents on the Big Island of Hawaii were alerted on Thursday to rising levels of toxic gas from lava-oozing fissures, and geologists warned that new areas east of the erupting Kilauea volcano may be at risk of molten rock bursting from the ground.

Steaming ground cracks from volcanic activity, the first signs a fissure may open, closed roads in areas to the northeast and southwest of Leilani Estates, where scientists believe the next lava vents may appear. "As it was described to me, it is so small it could hardly be called a fissure".

Meanwhile, the Hawaii National Guard jointly with other U.S. authorities are developing a mass evacuation plan for thousands of Big Island residents in light of a possible explosive eruption of Kilauea volcano, the guard's spokesman told Sputnik.

However, the spokesman did not specify the exact number of people who would be evacuated, but said that it probably will be "in the thousands".

A total of 36 structures have been destroyed so far, authorities said.

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Babb said the fissure is about eight-tenths of a mile east of the Puna Geothermal Venture plant. But scientists concurred that Hawaii is safe for visitors.

President Donald Trump has declared the ongoing Kilauea volcanic eruption on Hawaii's Big Island a major disaster.

Neal said fresher, hotter lava could emerge because magma has been moving down Kilauea's rift zone toward the area where the volcano is erupting.

"This opens the door to federal assistance and demonstrates a solid partnership with the federal government as we work to keep Hawaii residents safe and support recovery efforts on Hawaii Island", Ige said in a written statement released to the Hawaii Tribune-Herald.

Travel industry executives note most of the Big Island is free of eruption threats from Kilauea, which began spurting lava into a residential neighborhood last week.

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