Published: Fri, May 18, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

Hawaii: Kilauea Eruption Forces Residents To Seek Shelter

Hawaii: Kilauea Eruption Forces Residents To Seek Shelter

Fine ash particles are generally a millimeter or less in size. But she says it's probably "not a good day to go out running".

As the molten rock dropped below the level of the water table, it's likely that water in the surrounding rock began pouring into the vacated chamber - much the way water rushes to fill a recently dug well, said Charlotte Rowe, a geophysicist at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Scientists are predicting an eruption that shot ash almost 9 kilometres into the sky could be the first of a series of powerful explosions to rock Hawai'i's Kilauea volcano, reports SBS News. An eruption in 1924 killed one person and sent rocks, ash and dust into the air for 17 days.

Residents as far away as Hilo, about 30 miles from Kilauea, were starting to notice the volcano's effects.

On Thursday, a 21st fissure also opened in Leilani Estates while other fissures reactivated with lava, the Hawaii Civil Defense said in an alert.

About 2,000 people living near the fissures spitting lava had already been evacuated.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige said the state is forming a joint task force that could handle mass evacuations of the Big Island's Puna district if lava from Kilauea volcano covers major roads and isolates the area. "I hope the House of Representatives will move quickly to approve this timely legislation so that we can ensure the U.S. Geological Survey has the resources it needs to strengthen our monitoring, warning, and response capabilities".

Kilaue volcano larva flow on the island of Hawai'i today.

Residents who live in a nearby town are reporting light amounts of ash after a summit eruption of Hawaii's Kilauea volcano.

"It would be anybody's guess why it changed behavior in the last few weeks as it dramatically did", said volcanologist Erik Klemetti of Denison University in Ohio.

About two hours later, Poland said the webcam view showed a dusty plume rising from the summit. The plume, a towering column of ash reaching into a hazy sky, looked different than others he's witnessed, because of its sheer height. They advised residents to shelter in place and warned of unsafe driving conditions due to poor visibility.

Since the latest eruption started on the big island, on May 3, the United States Geological Survey has been monitoring the danger and updating us with some devastating imagery on social media. About 20 fissures opened in communities along the volcano's eastern slopes, prompting evacuations of almost 2,000 residents and engulfing dozens of homes in lava. This volcanic activity destroyed at least 26 homes and displaced thousands of residents.

The crater spewing ash sits within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, which has been closed since May 11 as a safety precaution over risks of a violent eruption.

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