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13 May 2018, 12:50 | Colleen Roy
Volcano toxic gas alert for Hawaii residents
President Donald Trump declared a major disaster in Hawaii following a request by the state's governor due to the volcanic activity continuing to wreak havoc on the island.
Residents on the Big Island of Hawaii were alerted on Thursday to rising levels of toxic gas from lava-oozing fissures, and geologists warned that new areas east of the erupting Kilauea volcano may be at risk of molten rock bursting from the ground.
Stars shine above as a plume rises from the Halemaumau crater, illuminated by glow from the crater's lava lake, within the Kilauea volcano summit at the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on May 9, 2018 in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii. Then last week, it was Kilauea volcano sending 2,200 degree (1,200 degree Celsius) lava bursting through cracks into people's backyards in the Leilani Estates neighborhood.
Local meteorologists said the change in prevailing winds could send Kilauea's volcanic smog, or vog, north-west to Maui and other islands in Hawaii.
The order will make federal funding available to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the regions affected by Kilauea's eruption on May 3. However, natural disaster activity and ground deformation continue and additional outbreaks in the general area are expected.
Officials say they aren't expecting a possible explosive volcano eruption to be life-threatening as long as people stay out of a surrounding Hawaii national park that's preparing to close.
Warnings that Hawaii's Kilauea volcano could shoot boulders and ash out of its summit crater are prompting people to rethink their plans to visit the Big Island.
NASA claims that the although the Kilauea is consistently releasing sulfur dioxide gas, in recent days there has been a significant increase in the amounts released, which likely stems from the creation of new fissures. She's anxious potential flight disruptions would strand them on the island.
She says that's why the lava has been cool and has been moving a little sluggishly.
Since the eruption started more than a week ago, 36 structures, including 27 homes, have been destroyed.
In little more than a week, the top of the lava lake has gone from spilling over the crater to nearly 970 feet (295 meters) below the surface as of Thursday morning, Mandeville said.
"It seems pretty safe to me right now, but they'd know best", said Cindy Woodd, who was visiting from British Columbia, Canada. Rockfalls into the crater are generating small ash clouds, but active eruption and spatter has paused along the lower flanks overnight-yet could still restart at any time. "We don't know what's going on underground". Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Scientist Tina Neal said Friday that an analysis of rock samples indicates the lava's chemistry is similar to that from a 1955 eruption. If it happens again, the danger zone could extend about 3 miles (5 kilometers) around the volcano, Mandeville said.
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