Hawaii's Kilauea volcano eruption damages 21 homes

07 May, 2018, 15:18 | Author: Rosalie Gross
  • Crack starting on Kahukai Street in Leilani Estates

She says the plan remains to allow some evacuated residents to return to Leilani Estates to retrieve important items, though that is subject to change. Aerial videos showed lava searing a long orange and smoky line through a wooded area.

The southeast corner of the island was rocked by a powerful magnitude 6.9 natural disaster on the volcano's south flank on Friday, the strongest tremor since 1975, and more earthquakes and eruptions were forecast, perhaps for months to come.

"As a realtor, I can tell you that people move here thinking it's paradise, and what they learn is that it's something different", said Jessica Gauthier, 47, who sells properties and manages vacation rentals on the Big Island.

Residents can also receive automatic notices (emails or texts) about volcanic activity through the USGS Volcano Notification Service.

"We had to evacuate. She's 88 years old", he told CNN affiliate KHON.

By Sunday, eight vents that had spurting lava into the air in Leilani Estates quieted down and were releasing only steam and gas.

"The rumbling in the region goes back to mid-March when the cone of the Pu'u O'o crater on Kilauea began to swell and the pressure trapped inside caused the crater floor to collapse on April 30".

About 14,000 customers of Hawaii Electric Light lost power immediately after the quake.

Babb said the activity since Thursday is beginning to show similarities to another event in the area in 1955 that lasted for 88 days, when far fewer people lived near the volcano.

When the larger quake followed, he said he felt strong shaking in Hilo, the island's largest city that is roughly 45 minutes from the rural Puna area. The only thing comparable is if someone "put a bunch of rocks into a dryer' and turned it on high". Other residents also mentioned to the news network that they had heard tree branches snapping and could smell the burning bush. "I couldn't believe it".

Destructive molten flows weren't the only concern.

Sulfur gas levels in some areas are too high, which can be life-threatening, according to the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

With an apparent lull in the action on Sunday, some of the almost 2,000 people forced to evacuate their homes when the eruptions began were allowed to return during a 10-hour window, although some neighborhoods remained off-limits due to risky volcanic gasses.

The crack widens and lengthens, and the plume of the toxic gas becomes more intense, and lava can eventually begin to sputter out.

Senior citizens, the young and people with respiratory issues are especially vulnerable to the gas, the state's Emergency Management Agency said.

The Leilani Estates area is at the greatest risk for more lava outbreaks. Hawaii's governor activated the National Guard to help with evacuations and provide security for about 770 buildings left empty when residents sought shelter. "Please be alert and prepare now to keep your family safe", he tweeted.

"There's more magma in the system to be erupted".

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