Kilauea Volcano Erupts in Hawaii: Officials Have Evacuated Thousands of Residents

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The Kilauea volcano in Hawaii has erupted on 3 May and its lava reached the nearest residential neighborhood. Knowing in advance that it might erupt, officials have urged locals to leave their homes in case of an event.

Yesterday, the Hawaii County stated that in Leilani Estates, the volcano cracked and lava and steam started pouring out. The place of eruption is very close to Pahoa on the Big Island.

Local television has filmed the lava spurting into the sky after a road cracked. Residents have been warned days before the event by county, state and federal officials. They had to be prepared to evacuate because volcano eruptions are imminent and happen fast.

Leilani Estates has a population of 1,500 residents, and to give them a shelter, community centers have been opened in nearby areas. The officials have evacuated almost 10,000 locals:

“Department of Public Works reports steam and lava emissions from a crack in Leilani Subdivision in the area of Mohala Street,” wrote the Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency.

The U.S. Geological Survey Reported Ground Cracks

On 3 May, in the afternoon, the U.S. Geological Survey has reported that there have been new cracks in the ground out of which hot vapors emerged and lava started to erupt.

Scientists are worried that the ground could crack in other different place and it could cause new vents, spreading lava to unknown places. Until now, only Leilani Estates has been at risk, as there was an eruption vent nearby.

A few days before the eruption of the Kilauea volcano there have been some earthquakes, cracking roads. Then, on 30 April, the Puu Oo crater floor started collapsing and it triggered new earthquakes and then it pushed lava in new underground chambers. The collapse caused a chain reaction, pushing magma more than 16 km toward the southeast coast of the Island, a populated area.

USGS geologist Janet Babb stated that the magma went under Highway 130 – that leads to the volcano access point. Hawaii County Civil Defence Agency had to close that area on 1 May, as it was a popular tourist route, ordering all tour companies to halt their tours in that region.

The last time Kilauea has been active was in 1924 when it erupted and it spewed ash and rocks as big as nine-metric ton were spit high in the sky, killing a man. In 1983 Puu Os has erupted, spitting lava fountains 450 meters high, burying a lot of land and homes in lava.

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Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.


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