Fresh quakes rock Hawaii's Big Island after volcano erupts

05 May, 2018, 13:20 | Author: Myra Gill
  • Lava Fountains And Noxious Gas Near Kilauea Volcano Send Residents Fleeing

The Big Island is the largest island in the Hawaiian Island chain, which is home to roughly 200,000 people and the Kilauea Volcano, one of the youngest and most active volcanoes in the world.

Almost 1,500 residents were ordered to evacuate from their volcano-side homes on Hawaii's Big Island after the Kilauea Volcano erupted, sending molten lava to chew its way through forest land and bubble up on paved streets.

Lava flows from the volcano have covered 48 square miles (125 square km), according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

"Volcanic vents are erupting on Makamae and Mohala Streets, all Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens Subdivision residents are ordered to evacuate immediately", civil defense officials tweeted.

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

Close-up footage shot by a drone showed lava emerging from a fissure in a wooded residential neighbourhood and oozing down a road.

Hawaii Electric Light said the jolt knocked out power to about 14,400 customers, but electricity was restored about two hours later. They have also reported cracks in roads.

Rhea Lee-Moku, a spokeswoman for the company, said: "It's kind of like being on some kind of carnival ride if you will". Some moderate to heavy shaking was reported across the island.

"It sounded like there were rocks in a dryer that were being tumbled around", said Jeremiah Osuna, who lives near Leilani Estates. "I was kind of shaken a little bit and realizing how real everything is, and how unsafe living on the East Rift can be".

Less than an hour after the eruption began Thursday, wailing warning sirens joined the cacophony, Maija Stenback, a resident of Leilani Estates, told The Post.

Lava has been spilling out of Puu Oo crater since 1983 making Kilauea the world's longest continuously eerupting volcano
Lava has been spilling out of Puu Oo crater since 1983 making Kilauea the world's longest continuously eerupting volcano

The reports come in the wake of a 5.0-magnitude natural disaster that shook the Big Island Thursday morning, and after hundreds of small tremors rattled residents for days.

Destructive molten flows weren't the only concern. The area can draw 500 to more than 2,000 visitors, depending on the level of volcanic activity.

Civil defense officials have warned the public about high levels of sulfur dioxide near the volcano, one reason for the evacuation orders.

Breathing large amounts of sulfur dioxide can result in burning of the nose and throat, and breathing difficulties.

At Leilani Estates, where lava was pushing through cracks in the earth, some residents still wanted to get home.

"It has now become unnerving", Carol Shepard, a resident, told CNN affiliate KHON. Hawaii Gov. David Ige said residents in the area were being sheltered at Pahoa and Kea'au community centers.

Volcano officials couldn't predict how long Thursday's eruption may last, prompting Hawaii's governor to activate the National Guard to help with evacuations and provide security to about 770 structures left empty when residents sought shelter.

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

"Earthquakes were happening every 10 minutes, it seems like".

"It'd be like the house would shake. It'd be like somebody that weighs 300 pounds came in my living room, and jumped up and down".


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