Hawaiians Evacuate after Volcano Eruption

Posted on May 31, 2018 by

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There has been an eruption of volcanoes in Hawaii on the Pacific “Ring of Fire” that has experts looking at America’s West Coast, which is also an active region.

The West Coast is home to an eight hundred mile chain of thirteen volcanoes. This eight hundred mile chain stretches from Washington state’s Mount Baker to California’s Lassen Park.

Hawaii’s big island, Kilauea, is threatening to blow up in weeks, or even days considering the lava sputtering. If the island does erupt, it’ll force about 2000 people to evacuate. This volcano can also cause destruction to 24 homes and a geothermal plant. What experts are fearing the most is that the volcano could hurl ash and boulders the size of refrigerators into the air.

Roughly 450 volcanoes make up this horseshoe shaped belt, with Kilauea sitting in the middle of them. The belt is known for frequent volcanic and seismic activity, which is all caused by the collision of crustal plates.

“All our mountains are considered active, geologically speaking.  This seems to happen in the North West about every 100 years,” a manager for the Washington Emergency Management Division John Ufford said.

Last Friday, President Donald Trump declared a major disaster existed on the Big Island–a move that will make federal financial assistance available to the state and local governments as they repair roads, public parks, schools, and water pipes that were damaged by the eruption. It will also help cover costs for geologists and security personnel at roadblocks.

Last week, the erupting volcano sent 2,200 degree lava bursting through cracks into people’s backyards in the Leilani Estates neighborhood. A magnitude 6.9 earthquake rocked the Big Island. After the quake,  there were frequent aftershocks. Thirty-six structures were destroyed, twenty-six of which were homes.

Hawaii County Defense officials have urged residents in lower Puna, a district on the Big Island, to remain vigilant and be ready to evacuate on short notice. They can also leave voluntarily and stay in one of two shelters at Pahoa and Keaau community centers.

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Posted in: Elyse Essick