Published: Sun, May 13, 2018
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Hawaii Kilauea volcano could soon explode in once-in-a-century eruption

Hawaii Kilauea volcano could soon explode in once-in-a-century eruption

More destructive lava flows could soon hit Hawaii's Big Island as the Kilauea volcano erupts, posing a greater threat than oozing magma that has so far destroyed dozens of homes and forced thousands to flee. Residents of the island's eastern corner were allowed to return but told to be ready to leave "at a moment's notice".

Smigelski-Theiss says she's anxious potential flight disruptions would strand them on the island.

In addition, Kilauea, one of the world's most active volcanoes, threatens to begin a series of explosive eruptions within days or weeks that could form huge clouds of volcanic smog, or vog, and hurl boulders as big as small cars.

This event could occur again when the summit lava lake drops so low that groundwater can flow into the conduit that feeds magma to the crater.

Authorities on Thursday completed the removal of highly flammable chemicals from a nearby power plant in the path of lava.

A couple sits on the edge of the Jaggar Museum's overlook to view Kilauea's summit crater in Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii, Thursday, May 10, 2018.

Steaming cracks in the ground, the first sign a fissure may be opening, closed roads in areas to the northeast and southwest of Leilani Estates where scientists believe the next lava geysers may appear.

Hawaii's Kilauea volcano could soon send boulders and ash shooting out of its summit crater in the kind of explosive eruption last displayed almost a century ago.

He would not estimate the likelihood of such an explosion, but said the internal volcanic conditions are changing in a way that could lead to a blast in about a week. Additional outbreaks in the general area are also expected.

"If it goes up, it will come down", said Charles Mandeville, volcano hazards coordinator for the U.S. Geological Survey. "There are other communities, other residential neighborhoods that could, depending on the evolution of activity, be in harm's way".

President TrumpDonald John TrumpPruitt dined with Cardinal accused of sexual abuse: report Kelly: No consideration on leaving White House despite "times of great frustration" Kelly: Trump "embarrassed" by Russian Federation probe MORE on Friday approved a disaster declaration for Hawaii as the state deals with damage from a volcanic eruption on its largest island.

Hawaii police said they arrested Alexandru Stingu-Dragomir, 29, on suspicion he burgled four houses in Leilani Estates after the mayor declared an emergency the area on last week.

Since the eruption started more than a week ago, around 2,000 residents have been evacuated and 27 homes have been destroyed, with lava now covering more than 117 acres of land.

In Pahoa, the nearest village to Kilauea, some schools remained closed after the area was hit last week by a 6.9 magnitude natural disaster, the biggest since 1975.

"It's like our version of a snow day - a lava day", joked Markoff.

The closures have added to a sense of disarray and ramped up stress levels, said gallery owner Amedeo Markoff, 49.

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