President Trump Declares Kilauea Eruption A Major Disaster

May 13, 2018, 14:02
President Trump Declares Kilauea Eruption A Major Disaster

A new lava fissure has opened up on Hawaii's Big Island in the vicinity of a geothermal energy plant.

Shortly after the fissure opened, the Geological Survey's Hawaii Volcano Observatory said seismic activity remained "elevated" at Kilauea's 1200-metre summit.

The U.S. Geological Survey recorded more than two dozen earthquakes in the area near the east coast of the Big Island on Saturday alone.

Conda said that at a meeting Thursday night, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientist Steve Brantley told residents that lava that has lain dormant in the area since a 1955 eruption was being forced to the surface by Kilauea's activity.

Such blasts would likely also eject plumes of volcanic ash that could be carried farther downwind into neighboring communities, creating a nuisance and potential respiratory irritant, but not a life-threatening hazard, officials said.

A spokesman said: "Lava from this latest outbreak is actively spattering and degassing but no flow has yet formed".

"He said 'That lava's underneath your house, '" said Conda.

Residents in the Leilani Estates area in southeastern Puna district - where people have been evacuated - got a text message on Friday to say they would have hardly any time to escape in the event of future eruptions. However, lava previously emitted from those openings has reportedly destroyed 36 structures, including over 20 homes, and covered 117 acres of land.

Kilauea is one of the most active volcanoes in the world and one of five on the island. About 2,000 people have been evacuated.

Scientists believe lava that's been erupting is magma that's been stored in the ground since Kilauea volcano erupted 63 years ago.

PAHOA, HAWAII - President Donald Trump has declared a major disaster on Hawaii's Big Island. The recent volcanic activity in Hawaii has also caused countless earthquakes, including a magnitude 6.9 natural disaster on May 4m which was the strongest quake to strike Hawaii since 1975.

The danger comes from the lava level that is dropping inside the volcano.