Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

Hawaii volcano warning as poisonous gas spews from lava

Hawaii volcano warning as poisonous gas spews from lava Hawaii volcano warning as poisonous gas spews from lava
Patty Aguilar | 15 May, 2018, 13:30

Hawaii's erupting Kilauea volcano has been spouting lava "bombs" and threatening escape routes for the people living on Big Island.

The eruptions have opened almost 20 vents in the ground.

After a new fissure opened on Wednesday about half a mile from a geothermal power plant, Hawaii Governor David Ige set up an emergency task force to remove the pentane used in the plant's turbines.

Tourism on the island brought in $2.5 billion in revenue past year.

The eruptions have forced over 2000 people to evacuate their homes, but local authorities say they hope tourists will still visit the island.

FILE - Lava erupts from a fissure east of the Leilani Estates subdivision during ongoing eruptions of the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii, May 13, 2018.

Within the first few days of the eruption, hoteliers reported lost profit of over NZ $3 million.

The National Weather Service has warned residents of "light ashfall" throughout the day in the island's southernmost district after a burst of volcanic emissions.

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"Eruption of lava continues from multiple points along the northeast end of the active fissure system", the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said in a briefing.

The U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said the flow from the crack that emerged Sunday was heading on a path that would take it to the ocean, about 2 miles away. No homes or roadways are threatened by this flow. Since then, fissures have been generated mostly in Leilani Estates subdivision, where almost 2,000 residents were ordered to evacuate.

Geologists yesterday warned that Kilauea may be entering a more violent phase of explosive eruptions, the likes of which Hawaii has not seen in almost a century.

For those who want to see a volcano in action, the lure of Hawaii's Big Island may be getting too much to resist. That prompted officials to issue calls for more evacuations as residents awaited a possible major eruption at Kilauea volcano's summit.

A fissure that opened Sunday led authorities to order 10 people to flee their homes, Hawaii County Managing Director Wil Okabe said.

The agency says one "unidentified structure" was destroyed by the new vent, bringing the total number of homes and other buildings lost to lava to almost 40.

Overall, almost 2,000 people have been told to evacuate since May 3, and lava has destroyed more than two dozen homes.

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