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Earthquakes, lava fissures could last for months on Hawaii: USGS

07 Mai 2018

The ensuing earthquakes, toxic levels of sulfur dioxide, and fissures of molten lava have forced roughly 1,500 people to evacuate their homes.

Professor Cronin says Aucklanders shouldn't be anxious about a chain reaction affecting volcanoes in New Zealand.

It is located on the southeastern side of the Big Island of Hawaii and sits at just under 4,200 feet tall.

As The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported, Makuakane evacuated on Friday with three trash bags of clothes, two towels, three blankets, a cooler with food, a riding lawn mower, her kids' bikes, a grill and important documents, the GoFundMe page says.

Fissure eruptions had been continuous since late yesterday evening and a lava flow had advanced northward by almost one kilometre, it said. A total of nine homes have been destroyed, with several more damaged, according to Hawaii News Now.

An eruption such as this one, where the fissure even has a street address, inevitably triggers the question of the risk taken by people who chose to live on an active volcano. Water spigots have been installed near the entrance of Lava Tree State Park and a water tanker has been placed in Vacationland for public use, officials said. Lava has seeped into the water lines and now there is a shortage.

Residents of Leilani Estates are still being allowed to briefly return to gather medicines, pets and other essentials. Officials will require those allowed in to leave the area if conditions become hazardous.

The US Geological Service (USGS) warned on Saturday that additional fissure outbreaks with spatter and lava flows were likely, although the locations could not be predicted with a high degree of certainty.

"What is slightly unusual, but only for the last tens of years, is that the eruption is taking place quite distant along the East Rift Zone, so close to some settlements".

On Sunday, authorities said the situation is unsafe and that it's unlikely that volcanic activity along the east rift zone of Kilauea volcano will be ending anytime soon.

There have been more than 1,000 earthquakes over the last week in the area of Kilauea, produced by the volcano making room for new flows of magma occurring inside of it. The island was then hit by a series of earthquakes, including a 6.9-magnitude tremor on Friday. Although the natural disaster could be felt across much of the archipelago, the worst shaking occurred in an area with no neighborhoods or businesses. Numerous quakes were minor and did not cause damage, however, the 6.9-magnitude temblor that struck Friday, left 14,000 residents without power.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologist, Janet Babb, said that local residents should be very careful because "lava could break to the surface, and it could do so fairly quickly". Photo: GettyHawaii's Kilauea volcano is causing chaos for local residents.

For the rest of the island, it was business as usual, with no impact to flights to tourism centres, state officials said.

From 1990 through 1991, lava slowly overtook the town of Kalapana, burning homes and covering roads and gardens.

Earthquakes, lava fissures could last for months on Hawaii: USGS