Hawaii officials hoping to bring in tourists despite volcano
13 May, 2018, 02:01 | Author: Ted Wilson
The Leilani Estates community 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 2,000 residents.
Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientist Tina Neal explained: "What will take a turn for the worst in terms of hazard is if hotter, fresher magma makes it to the surface and that could be what is coming".
Last week's explosion of Kilauea, the longest-erupting volcano on the planet, forced some 1,700 people to abandon their homes and destroyed 36 structures when a flow of red-hot underground magma burst through the surface in the Leilani Estates - a residential area about 40 miles from the volcano's crater - sending up torrents of molten rock and toxic gases. Lava is now covering more than 117 acres of land on the Big Island.
Hawaii County officials say pentane is being moved from Puna Geothermal Venture to an offsite industrial park away from the neighborhoods where lava fissures have emerged.
Rachel Smigelski-Theiss is among those who have changed their plans.
"We know the volcano is capable of doing this", Mandeville said, citing similar explosions at Kilauea in 1925, 1790 and four other times in the last few thousand years. She had meant to visit Kilauea's summit with her husband and 5-year-old daughter and stay in Volcano, a town a few miles from the crater.
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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The Hawaii volcano could blow its top in the coming days and cause a widespread disaster on the island, according to the latest from U.S. officials.
Geologists warn that Kilauea could shoot out large boulders and ash out of its summit crater. There were no eruptions overnight, but the O'Neal said the situation is still unstable.
Over the past week, the Big Island has experienced more than 600 earthquakes - a sign that something is occurring deep beneath the volcano.
In addition, Kilauea, one of the world's most active volcanoes, threatens to begin a series of explosive eruptions within days or weeks that could form huge clouds of volcanic smog, or vog, and hurl boulders as big as small cars.
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