Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

More evacuations as volcanic lava flow advances in Hawaii

Hawaii volcanic smog blankets Marshall Islands Lava flow enters Hawaii geothermal plant property | World News
Glenn Montgomery | 01 June, 2018, 19:33

The Hawaii community hardest hit by the Kilauea Volcano was ordered sealed off under a strict new mandatory evacuation on Thursday as the eruption marked its fourth week with no end in sight.

The financial impact from Kilauea eruptions has been revealed to be between $3million and $6 million on lost revenue from property taxes and reduced property values.

Kate Lilly (L) and Will Divine look on as lava erupts from a Kilauea volcano fissure in Leilani Estates, on Hawaii's Big Island, on 24 May, 2018 in Pahoa, Hawaii.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority has made a decision to focus on two target contributors to the Hawaii market, the United States and Japan.

The lava flow destroyed a farm where Kevin Hopkins and partners raise tropical fish and the ornamental carp known as koi.

In a statement from Mufi Hannemann of the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association, he says, "Given how the Big Island is being portrayed through the media globally, it is no surprise that we are seeing a decrease in travel and hotel reservations". "I've got close friends in Leilani, which we helped evacuate a couple weeks ago, and now it's our turn".

But the total number of evacuees was estimated to have risen to about 2,500 after authorities ushered residents from the nearby Kapoho area as a precaution on Wednesday, as a lava flow threatened to cut off a key access road. Lava from another fissure was about 2.8 miles (4.5 kilometers) above the intersection and was advancing in pauses and surges of about 600 yards (548.64 meters) per hour, scientists said.

"You are at risk of being isolated due to possible lava inundation", the Hawaii County Civil Defence agency advised the public.

Although the haze does not contain sulfur dioxide or other toxic chemicals, a NWS official told NPR the particles in the air can still be harmful to people with sensitive respiratory systems.

"Volcanic gas emissions remain very high from the fissure eruptions", the USGS said.

There were several small earthquakes at Kilauea's summit Wednesday, where the vent inside the volcano's Halemaumau Crater has grown along with a series of explosive eruptions that have sent rock and ash thousands of feet into the sky.

Local authorities could not confirm to AFP how many people would be evacuated.

Earlier this month, Gebbie, a carpenter, said he had lived in the community for more than a decade and built his home himself over the past three years.

Winds are set to shift on Monday and Tuesday, causing higher concentrations of ash and volcanic smog that will spread west and north-west to affect more populated areas, said National Weather Service meteorologist John Bravender.

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