Earth­quakes shake Hawaii near ac­tive vol­cano

Woonsocket Call - - NATION -

HONOLULU (AP) — Earth­quakes were dam­ag­ing roads and build­ings on Hawaii’s Big Is­land on Wed­nes­day as ash emis­sions streamed from Ki­lauea vol­cano.

The strongest shak­ing was recorded around 8:30 a.m., mea­sured as a 4.4-mag­ni­tude earth­quake. The floor of the sum­mit crater has also dropped about three feet, as the threat of a strong, ex­plo­sive erup­tion at the top of the vol­cano loomed.

Ash spewed from the sum- mit at Hawaii’s Ki­lauea vol­cano, though emis­sions de­creased from Tues­day.

There were oc­ca­sional bursts of ash com­ing from the crater caus­ing ash to fall down­wind to sev­eral com­mu­ni­ties, though there were only trace amounts, said the Hawaiian Vol­cano Ob­ser­va­tory. Ash plumes on Tues­day had spouted as high as 12,000 feet 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 two feet in di­am­e­ter were found in a park­ing lot 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, and con­tin­ues to mon- itor ac­tiv­ity.

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

Cracks formed on a high­way 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!”

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