What’s Hot in Hawaii: The Latest on the Volcanic Activity

What's Hot in Hawaii: The Latest on the Volcanic Activity

Grace Fields, News Editor

Hawaii is the hottest place to be right now- for all the wrong reasons.

 

On May 3, two vents from Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano erupted, spewing lava and toxic gas all over the island.

 

The eruptions are causing lava to overtake nearby residential areas, as the flow is spreading through neighborhoods. There have been mandatory evacuations for 1,700 residents.

 

The lava flow taking over local neighborhoods

 

CNN reported that Debra Weeks, the Director of Disaster Services for the Red Cross in Hawaii says that, “some people are not complying” with the evacuations.

 

Weeks gave a warning message to the community: “They’re putting themselves at risk. They’re putting first responders at risk…If you know anyone still out there, encourage them to come in – not only for their own safety, but for safety of the community.”

 

So far, there have reportedly been 36 structures that have been destroyed by the lava, 26 of which are houses.

 

An evacuation shelter for residents

 

Scientists have said it is unknown when the flow will stop. The last time anything similar in Hawaii happened, the damaging lava lasted for over 80 days.

 

The lava is releasing sulfur dioxide, a toxic gas, that is extremely dangerous. This gas is thought to be the most dangerous part of the eruptions, as lava can be avoided, but gas cannot.

 

A picture that shows the gas being released from the volcano

 

In addition to all of this, there have been several large earthquakes in Hawaii since the volcano erupted.

 

There were two earthquakes last Friday, one of which was a 6.9 magnitude on the Richter scale, and the island has experienced an average of one earthquake per hour since then.

 

For now, residents are hoping that the lava will stop before its path of destruction grows even larger.