Lava flowing from the Kileaua volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island wiped out hundreds of homes and then proceeded to fill up a nearby coastal bay.
On May 3, 2018, Hawaii’s Big Island was on high alert after the Kilauea volcano began spurting lava near the island’s eastern edges, followed by two earthquakes.
Kilauea has been erupting with great intensity since early May, forcing thousands of residents to evacuate. Until the overnight destruction, there was a total of 117 homes that had been razed by the eruption, which also spewed ash thousands of feet into the air.
In addition to destroying hundreds of homes, lava from Kilauea is also reshaping the entire coastline of the island. Furthermore, officials warned residents that a large plume of haze, volcanic gas and volcanic glass shards was blowing in toward the land.The explosive eruption released a cloud of hazardous ash 30,000 feet into the air and settled on the land.
Freshmen Sam Sharma says, “The situation these people are in is really tragic. I’ve been to Hawai’i before and it’s absolutely terrible that this beautiful island is in such bad shape.”
Parts of Kileaua have been erupting continuously since 1983. However, with the latest eruptions of lava showing few signs of subsiding, residents have been forced to plan for months of constant eruptions.
Big Island’s Mayor Harry Kim has issued a mandatory evacuation order for the communities closest to the volcano. Many residents were trapped in their homes by the lava and the debris.
For the returnees, National Guard troops and reporters venturing into the area, it quickly became obvious why the area was a no go zone. Fissures continue to spew life-threatening gasses, while rivers of lava hurl rubble a hundred feet into the air.
Authorities say that it is highly unlikely that the eruptions will affect the other seven islands in Hawaii, including Oahu, the state’s most populated island, but people in Hawai’i still fear the possibility that Kilauea will grow angrier.
The volcano is triggering earthquakes, including a 4.2 magnitude tremor. Officials issued a red alert for aviation as the ash could reach up to 30,000 feet.
The eruption was a red and yellow display of lava from the fissures, orange fires, and white smoke.
Sulfur dioxide is a deadly gas that can cause some eye, nose, and skin irritation, as well as headaches, coughing, and shortness of breath.
The gas acts as a threat to everything and everyone on the island as it kills plants and is heating up the environment to temperatures to which animals and plants are not accustomed.
Freshmen Bhuvan Dwarasila says, “I’ve read about volcanos and how they can affect their surroundings before, but I’ve never actually been able to see how terrible the aftermath is. These gasses are some of the main causes of global warming, so they are not only affecting their nearby environment, but the whole atmosphere.”
As of right now, the entire Big Island is vacant except for any remaining residents that cannot afford to leave the island or have been trapped.
How would you react if you were in this situation?