Friday, 22 June, 2018

Lava from Kilauea 'hotter than ever' after eruption, scientists warn

Magma has drained from Kilauea's summit lava lake and flowed around 40km east underground bursting out of about two dozen giant cracks or fissures near the plant Hawaii volcanic smog blankets Marshall Islands
Gerardo Duncan | 01 June, 2018, 19:32

Further, the molten lava and heat could rupture the wells at the plant.

Since the first eruption occurred in the Leilani Estates subdivision on the evening of Thursday, May 3, emergency officials believe almost 2,500 residents have been forced to evacuate as lava, flowing from numerous volcanic fissures, consumes everything in its path.

The financial impact from Kilauea eruptions has been revealed to be between $3million and $6 million on lost revenue from property taxes and reduced property values.

"Rather than shock and surprise it was more of a resolve that, OK, it's come to us now", Steven Neill, a Kapoho evacuee, told CNN affiliate KGMB/KHNL on Wednesday.

Hawaii County officials said lava destroyed the electric utility's equipment on the highway, which knocked out power to Vacationland and Kapoho Beach Lots.

As of Friday, lava has destroyed 82 structures, including 37 homes.

"You are at risk of being isolated due to possible lava inundation", the agency advised the public, referring to the area where two highways intersect.

Only two of the fissures are still pumping lava: #8 and #24.

Overnight, the lava was moving fast enough to cover about six football fields an hour, according to U.S. Geological Survey scientist Wendy Stovall. "Fissure 8 is producing the most active flow with a channel that may overflow at any time", the agency said.

In fact, the current lava eruptions in Puna are as hot as Hawaii's lava will ever get.

The well was successfully plugged in anticipation of the lava flow, and a second well 100 feet (30.5 meters) away has also been secured, according to the report.

The unsafe fibers - named after Hawaiian fire and volcano goddess Pele - are produced when lava splatter droplets cools rapidly in the air and can cause skin and eye irritation similar to volcanic ash.

Wind was carrying volcanic glass, gases, pollution and ash particles to other parts of the island.

On top of all that, the USGS said ash was still erupting intermittently from Kilauea's summit.

"In addition to this potential over the Big Island, some emissions could reach the smaller islands through the day Tuesday". Vog is a haze created when sulfur dioxide gas and other volcanic pollutants mix with moisture and dust.

Lava-filled fissures have torn apart chunks of the southeastern side of the Big Island over the past three weeks as Kilaeau has become more active.

Local authorities could not confirm to AFP how many people would be evacuated.

The U.S. Geological Survey released drone footage Wednesday of another fast-moving lava flow that trapped a man in Leilani Estates over the weekend.

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