Earth­quakes as ash spews from Hawai­ian vol­cano

The Herald - - INTERNATIONAL -

EARTH­QUAKES are dam­ag­ing roads and build­ings on Hawaii’s Big Is­land as ash emis­sions stream from Ki­lauea vol­cano.

The strong­est shak­ing mea­sured as a 4.4-mag­ni­tude earth­quake. The floor of the sum­mit crater has also dropped about 3ft, as the threat of a strong, ex­plo­sive erup­tion at the top of the vol­cano loomed.

The ground was de­flat­ing as the crater’s lava lev­els fell, caus­ing stress faults around the crater to move, re­sult­ing in the earth­quakes. More were ex­pected. Ash spewed from the sum­mit at Hawaii’s Ki­lauea vol­cano, though emis­sions were not as strong as they were ear­lier in the week.

There were oc­ca­sional bursts of ash com­ing from the crater caus­ing it to fall on sev­eral com­mu­ni­ties, though there were only trace amounts, said the Hawai­ian Vol­cano Ob­ser­va­tory.

Ash plumes on Tues­day had spouted as high as 12,000ft into the air, sci­en­tists said. These plumes are sep­a­rate from the lava erup­tions hap­pen­ing roughly 25 miles away from sum­mit, where about 20 lava fis­sures have de­stroyed more than two dozen homes and forced the evac­u­a­tion of about 2,000 res­i­dents.

Dense, large rocks roughly 2ft in di­am­e­ter were found in a car park a few hun­dred yards away from Ki­lauea’s sum­mit crater, which re­flect the “most en­er­getic ex­plo­sions yet ob­served and could re­flect the on­set of steam-driven ex­plo­sive ac­tiv­ity”, the Hawai­ian Vol­cano Ob­ser­va­tory said in a state­ment.

Sci­en­tists say earth­quakes may shake loose rocks un­der­ground and open up new tun­nels for lava to flow.

Cracks formed on a road near the en­trance to Hawaii Vol­ca­noes Na­tional Park, said the Hawaii Po­lice Depart­ment. Much of the park re­mains closed.

“We’re all safe, and I wish they’d open the park back up, but they have to keep it safe for every­body,” said Ken Mcgilvray, an area res­i­dent. “We live on a vol­cano!”

Hawaii gov­er­nor David Ige said the state is form­ing a joint task force that could han­dle mass evac­u­a­tions of the Big Is­land’s Puna dis­trict if lava from Ki­lauea vol­cano cov­ers ma­jor roads and iso­lates the area.

Hawaii Army Na­tional Guard Bri­gadier Gen­eral Ken­neth Hara, the task force com­man­der, said he is an­tic­i­pat­ing po­ten­tially hav­ing to evac­u­ate about 1,000 peo­ple, based on what he has been told by Hawaii County.

But he said some peo­ple may choose to stay be­hind be­cause they are self-suf­fi­cient.

„ Lava spat­ter­ing from fis­sures of the Ki­lauea vol­cano, near Pahoa.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.