A fast-moving stream of lava encircles yet another group of houses and explosive eruptions continue to plague Big Island, Hawaii, as the state wrestles with a natural disaster in the form of a violent Mount Kilauea. The Express shows the red-hot summit tossing large lava bombs from a crater in Pahoa, spewing ash that would later settle and ensconce entire vehicles all over the islands; this natural disaster is both captivating, dangerous, and disturbingly fascinating.
The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said the following in a statement.
“As deflation continues, strong earthquakes in the area around Kilauea Volcano’s summit are expected to continue and may become more frequent.”
While residents of the tropical state are familiar with volcanic activity and the dangers eruptions can present, the current crisis has dwarfed predictions. Booming reports issue forth as smoke, ash, and lava are released from fissures and craters. The fallout from the ash has coated large swathes of land, and lava bombs the size of great boulders or refrigerators are being thrown up to half a mile, according to CNN’s Scott McLean. The impact zone is said by those studying the event to be restricted to an area surrounding Halemaumau, or the crater within Kilauea’s summit caldera.
While evacuations do continue in some incidences, such as a small community moved due to the many fissures spewing toxic sulfur dioxide in proximity, civil defense administrator for Hawaii County Talmadge Magno said that no further evacuations are likely to be necessary moving forward. Over 18,000 breathing masks have been distributed by government agencies in the vicinity of the eruptions, mostly to prevent the breathing of fine particulates such as smoke or ash. The masks are said to be completely ineffective against the sulfur dioxide fumes, which are a more serious matter for affected regions.
Despite the ongoing stressors on the local population and their economy, tourists are still being admitted and encouraged to visit, so long as they mind the partitioned areas that remain unsafe while the geological disturbance persists. Danger-seekers and lava lovers are even more likely to take the trip during this time as airspace bans are lifted, looking to get a glimpse of an active volcano of this size and magnitude.
There may be no immediate end in sight as United States Geological Survey scientists have admitted that they are incapable of accurately predicting cessation. The CNN report claims that experts expect the event to last two to three weeks or more in total, citing a 1924 event which lasted 2.5 weeks.