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

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

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

Exposure to very high levels of the sulfur dioxide gas emitted from the fissures can be life-threatening, experts say.

The pant sits on the edge of Leilani Estates, one of the areas where almost 2,000 residents have been forced to evacuate as Kilauea spewed lava.

And scientists say don't worry, they'll continue to monitor all of California's volcanoes, even as they provide backup for in Hawaii.

The pause in the active eruption of spatter and lava along Kilauea Volcano's lower East Rift Zone continued overnight.

Those lava flows have destroyed 27 homes and several other structures.

The declaration means that federal funds will be made available to state and local governments, as well as certain non-profit organizations, to assist with emergency work and repairs. Additional outbreaks in the general area are also expected.

Robert Hughes, the owner of Aloha Junction Bed and Breakfast in Volcano, said he's had "tons" of cancellations since Wednesday when geologists first warned of the explosive eruption.

The threat of potential explosions prompted park officials to announced the indefinite closure of most of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park starting Friday, May 11.

Hawaii County Managing Director Wil Okabe says the pentane was moved to an industrial park some 30 miles (48 kilometers) away from the Puna Geothermal Venture.

But Kilauea could release hotter, faster-moving and more voluminous lava because magma has moving into the area from further up the volcano, she said. "We know it is a distinct possibility".

"What we've already been seeing is that chunks of the surrounding vents are just dropping off into the lava and that's why we're getting these small explosions", said Jessica Johnson, a volcanologist at the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom.

"Federal funding is available to the State and to eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the fix or replacement of facilities damaged by Kilauea volcanic eruption and earthquakes in Hawaii County", the government said in a statement late Friday.

Over the past week, the Big Island has experienced more than 600 earthquakes - a sign that something is occurring deep beneath the volcano.

"This field of volcanoes around Flagstaff has been erupting once every five to 10 thousand years, and the last eruption was about a thousand years ago, so we don't expect another eruption to happen very soon", he said. However, he also noted that tourism is the island's biggest industry and people's livelihoods are dependent on visitors coming.

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