Lava changing Hawaii landscape as health officials warn of a new hazard

Aaron Brown
June 1, 2018

Earlier this month, two residents were arrested for attempting to blow past police barricades to enter the area. Particularly concerning was Fissure 20, which was spewing lava southward to the coast.

Fast-flowing lava rivers are have been oozing across Hawaii's Big Island, prompting officials to urge remaining residents in the Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens evacuation zones to flee immediately.

A lava flow from Hawaii's erupting Kilauea volcano that damaged a geothermal power station has stalled, as have lava fountains gushing 100 feet (30 meters) into the air, offering momentary relief to an area under siege for 25 days, officials said on Monday.

Residents are also advised to listen to local radio for the latest updates from the Hawaii Civil Defense.

A broad lava flow has crossed onto the property of a Hawaii geothermal power station, posing a new hazard as molten rock from the erupting Kilauea volcano bulldozes relentlessly through homes and backyards.

Someone actually asked the US Geological Survey if it is OK to roast marshmallows over volcanic lava.

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At least 10 homes were destroyed Sunday due to volcano activity, said Talmadge Magno, Hawaii County Civil Defense Administrator. "And if you add sulfuric acid (in vog (volcanic smog), for example) to sugar, you get a pretty spectacular reaction.(sic)".

According to the US National Weather Service officials in Guam, the volcanic haze has moved across the Pacific and is descending upon the many sparsely-populated islands in the area, including the aforementioned Marshall Islands and the islands of Micronesia.

There were several small earthquakes at Kilauea's summit Wednesday, where the vent inside the volcano's Halemaumau Crater has grown along with a series of explosive eruptions that have sent rock and ash thousands of feet into the sky. About 300 people are staying at three American Red Cross emergency shelters, while hundreds more are staying with friends and family. Authorities are telling residents to minimize their exposure to these to avoid skin irritation. Randy's house is gone.

The eruption of Kilauea volcano, a major tourist attraction on the Big Island, has not affected flights in the area but its eruption is expected to affect tourism.

"We've really been trying to clear up some misconceptions and tell people Hawaii is open for business".

Lava approaches Puna Geothermal Venture, bottom left, in the Leilani Estates near Pahoa, Hawaii, U.S., May 28, 2018.

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