Kilauea’s latest eruption prompts evacuations, destroys structures in Hawaii

The West

Lava has been flowing continuously in Hawaii since the Kilauea volcano erupted last week. The seismic activity on the eastern side of Hawaii Island, also known as the Big Island, has displaced more than 1,700 people and destroyed at least 35 structures as of Wednesday May 9, and scientists aren't sure when it will stop.

Kilauea is one of the world’s most active volcanos and has been erupting continuously since the early 1980s. But a recent series of earthquakes triggered strong eruptions that have sent lava spewing hundreds of feet in the air.

The lava flow has been moving slowly, giving residents the opportunity to safely evacuate, but the silent danger of volcanic smog, or ‘vog’, is growing. Fissures in the ground are releasing water vapor, carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide, which can result in numerous health problems.     

Gov. David Ige has activated the Hawaii National Guard, issued an emergency proclamation and visited with first responders since the eruption began. Many residents of the most impacted area, Leilani Estates, choose to live there because of the lush surroundings and affordable land, and are wondering when they can return home. Find latest updates:

For more information on the eruption, visit Hawaii News Now.

Get the latest news about the West and its governors by following the Western Governors' Association on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Image: U.S. Geological Survey


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