The flow of lava strengthened as earthquakes and emission of gases continues in the nearby vicinity of the Kilauea Volcano. Kilauea, one of the five volcanoes on the island, is located at the southeastern part of the Big Island. It is currently one of the world’s most active volcanoes which continues to show signs of activity since 1983. The U.S. Geological Survey warned last month that pressure was building up under the surface of the volcano and there is possibility to erupt. And now, the volcano erupts leaving the residents in great devastation of the disaster that only nature can control.
The crater floor began to disintegrate a week ago, triggering a series of earthquakes in Hawaii. Kilauea volcano erupted Thursday, spewing molten rock and high levels of sulfur dioxide. The ongoing eruption intensified on Sunday and molten rock is pouring out from the fissures farther from the site of original eruption. The new fissures had appeared much farther down the face of the volcano. Scientists reported that toxic gas emitted was more than 200 feet in the air from cracks in the ground splintered by the volcano.
Molten rock from the lower East Rift Zone of the volcano reached the surface Thursday, beginning its crawl into Leilani Estates, the USGS says. Leilani Estates, a subdivision near the picturesque town of Pahoa and 30 minutes south of Hilo.
On Friday, a magnitude-6.9 earthquake hit the region shortly after the 5.4 magnitude earthquake, making it the most intense earthquake in Hawaii for more than four decades. When lava began to flow into the neighborhood, fissures were also formed in the streets followed by more fissures. Hot steam and gases were vent out while lava is spouted leaving burning trees, cars and buildings.
As of Monday, at least 10 fissures were reported in Leilani Estates, according to the County Civil Defense Agency. Scientist studying near the vicinity reported that lava flows through the forest, the power lines are down, and explosions were heard likely form propane or methane tanks explosions.
Ash was also thrown into the air and onto the streets of the mountainside communities. This made the residents prone to the dangerous levels of sulfur dioxide. This can cause intense coughing and burning of throats.
Evacuation of Residents
Even long-time residents were astonished by the magnitude of the destruction of the eruption of Kilauea Volcano. More than 1,700 residents were displaced from Leilani Estates, as well as nearby Lanipuna Gardens. They were ordered to evacuate to safer places to avoid casualties. Residential destruction continues to increase. As of Sunday, lava has flowed for almost 400,000 square feet and more than twenty-five homes has already been destroyed as reporter by Hawaii officials.
Leilani Estates remains at the greatest threat, but other areas in the region may come under risk as the eruption progresses, the U.S. Geological Survey said. Extremely high level of sulfur dioxide gas had been detected around the area even in the evacuation center making it dangerous to the residents.
To avoid respiratory issues, all residents were required to wear mask for precautions. The evacuees have been waiting for the disaster to be finished so that they can return to their home, if not yet destroyed. This made the residents feel the sadness over losing their houses because of the wrath of nature.
On Sunday, the County Civil Defense Agency permitted some Leilani Estates residents to return home for some time to retrieve pets, medicine and other important items left in their homes. But this did not last for a long time because of the unstable conditions of the road and the poor quality of air. But on Monday, officials said no one would be allowed to return after all because conditions were too unstable, dynamic and dangerous.
Messages of Support from the Government and other People
I am in contact with @MayorHarryKim and Hawai‘i County, and the state is actively supporting the county’s emergency response efforts. I have also activated the Hawai‘i National Guard to support county emergency response teams with evacuations and security. #Kilauea #Volcano
— Governor David Ige (@GovHawaii) May 4, 2018
— FEMA Region 9 (@femaregion9) May 7, 2018
My heart is with #Hawaii. The beautiful Big Island has been hit by an earthquake and a volcanic eruption. Let’s show Hawaiians the Aloha Spirit of love and care they would show any of us in need.
— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) May 5, 2018
As someone who was born in Hawaii & grew up within sight of a volcano, I feel 2 things when an eruption occurs: deep sadness 4 those who are losing their homes, property & memories .. but also, an inescapable sense of privilege, to be able to witness the Earth itself, being born. https://t.co/07QVE58e9D
— Shyanne ?? (@MauiSunsetGirl5) May 8, 2018
As to when will the lava flow stops, nobody knows. It could be nearly over or maybe it could still go on for a long time. If the lava flow stabilizes, this could signify that the residents could return to the unharmed and safe houses. This is the best time to gather help from nearby cities. The displaced residents lost more than their homes and properties.
What are your insights on the latest news on the eruption of Mount Kilauea? Are you interested to donate and help the residents? Feel free to share your insights with us.