Published: Sun, May 13, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Donald Trump Trump Declares Disaster For Hawaii Volcano Eruption

Donald Trump Trump Declares Disaster For Hawaii Volcano Eruption

According to Ross Birch, Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau (IHVB) executive director, it's safe and enjoyable for tourists to visit Kona and Waikoloa on the Island of Hawaii, also known as the Big Island.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige, a Democrat said crews at a geothermal energy plant near the lava outbreak accelerated the removal of stored flammable fuel as a precaution.

The Leilani Estates residential area remains in greatest danger, with 15 volcanic fissures so far having destroyed 36 structures, a lot of them homes, and forcing the evacuation of about 2000 residents.

Authorities have also allowed the almost 2,000 evacuees to go inside their homes and pick up their belongings under the warning that they could have to rush out once again.

Because of the threat, Volcanoes National Park will be closed Friday.

Officials with the agency wouldn't estimate the likelihood of such an explosion, but called it a "distinct possibility".

The 1924 phreatic explosions are described at: Natural disaster activity, ground deformation measured by Global Positioning System, and the opening of new ground cracks east and west of Leilani Estates suggest that this eruption is not over and that additional fissures are likely to open. Since last week, lava has been siphoning away for the volcano's summit, breaking through the ground in the 15 fissures. From its peak on May 2 to the most recent measurement at 9 p.m. on May 6, the lava lake surface dropped a total of more than 200 meters (656 feet).

"One of the things I love about Kilauea is that it's so well-monitored and so well-studied - the more we know, the more we realize we don't know", she said.

The USGS added that further explosions could become possible in the coming weeks if lava reaches below groundwater level.

Currently, there are no changes in the itinerary, said Nair, but that could change depending on further activity.

Meantime, if rock and other sediment have fallen inward, blocking the steam that's being created, intense pressure builds up.

"I'm not too anxious about it because I've lived here so long and I've seen it go through lots of different episodes", Hughes said.

People should also be cautious around the water: once lava interacts with saltwater, it produces hydrochloric acid, which is toxic. And the dropped rocks hold that steam in until it blows. "There's beauty and also darkness".

Meghan Holowath, a third-year geology student going on the trip, said most people have the idea of a Mount St. Helens-type explosion in their mind, but because of the magma type of Kilauea, that sort of explosive event is unlikely. There are now three active volcanoes in Hawaii.

Janet Coney, office manager of the Kilauea Lodge, an inn and restaurant, said officials told her lodge employees probably won't have to worry about rocks raining down on them but might experience falling ash.

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