Hawaii's Volcano Eruption Continues on its Rampage Causing Both Destruction and More Land
The two-month long eruption of the Kilauea Volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii is continuing on its path of destruction, eviscerating neighborhoods, eliminating the island's largest lake and, most recently, causing giant sink holes near Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Hawaii's County Civil Defense Agency is continuously providing updates on the natural disaster with nearly daily reports of more hazards posted.
CD THUR 6/28 6AM: HVO reports summit explosion around 4:49AM. Fissure 8 feeds lava to ocean at Kapoho. Flow expanding south along shoreline. Fresh lava oozing at Kapoho Beach Lots. Gas emissions & laze high. Due to active lava near houses in Kapoho, access by residents restricted— COH Civil Defense (@CivilDefenseHI) June 28, 2018
Some good in the tragic
The island is being decimated by the constant lava flows with more and more people seeking disaster assistance while being exposed to rising gas emissions. It is hard to see any good from this tragic situation.
CD SAT 6/22 4:30PM: Gas emissions remain high. No immediate threat. Disaster assistance available island-wide to affected individuals & businesses. Register w/ FEMA in-person at the Disaster Recovery Center, call 1-800-621-3362 or online at https://t.co/mZBI2oH4HX— COH Civil Defense (@CivilDefenseHI) June 24, 2018
However, as lava endlessly spews from fissures in Kilauea's lower East Rift Zone, some of the deltas heading down to the ocean are also extending the island's land, resulting in debates over who may own the newly-formed territory. According to the US Geological Survey (USG), there is no current data on how much new land will be created but a Twitter post revealed that the 1960 Kapoho flows saw the island gain 2 square km (0.75 square miles).
For the moment, we don't think there's been significant addition to the coastline. Of course, that could change - in the 1960 Kapoho eruption, Hawai'i gained 2 square kilometers (0.75 square miles) of new land: https://t.co/gxfkwSX63X #KilaueaErupts— USGS Volcanoes? (@USGSVolcanoes) May 23, 2018
Constant updates provided
The organization's volcanoes account also more recently tweeted some majestic albeit scary new pictures from the flows resulting from fissure number 8 along with details on summit seismicity. The account provides regular news and reports on the eruption's evolution.
#Kilauea #eruption update for July 8 at 11:18 AM HST: spattering at Fissure 8 not rising above cone; ocean entry active on northern area; summit seismicity low after collapse event at 2:55 AM HST.https://t.co/7sDZqcOJ5s pic.twitter.com/kS2igAkX24— USGS Volcanoes? (@USGSVolcanoes) July 8, 2018
The most recent status report from the organization warned that the ocean entry had become a hazardous area due to flying debris from lava and water interactions. The lava delta was also reported to be "unstable because it is built on unconsolidated lava fragments and sand."
The report also indicated a risk of "additional ground cracking and outbreaks of lava in the area of the active fissures." Citizens residing downslope of the region of fissures were recommended to "heed all Hawaii County Civil Defense messages and warnings."
As of July 8 at 4 pm local time, the county alerted that the following policies remained in effect. Kapoho Beach Lots and Four Corners were closed and citizens were warned not to access the active flow field due to extreme hazard.