Hawaii braces for volcanic eruption
by Leigh Jones
Posted 5/10/18, 10:36 am
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park will close Friday ahead of an expected eruption of the Kilauea volcano, which could send steam, ash, gravel, and boulders as big as six feet wide shooting up from the crater. Conditions in the volcano’s lava lake mirror those observed in 1924, the last time Kilauea had a major summit eruption. Scientists are monitoring the lake level as it drops because once it dips below the water table, the steam buildup will trigger an eruption. The U.S. Geological Survey warned the eruption could come as early as mid month. Hawaiian officials began evacuating 2,000 residents from two neighborhoods near the volcano last week when volcanic vents started to open in the ground, spewing lava and toxic gas. On Thursday, police went door to door to order the last holdouts to leave. Fifteen vents now pock the Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens neighborhoods. The lava has destroyed 36 structures, at least 26 of which were homes.
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Leigh lives in Houston with her husband and daughter. She is WORLD Digital’s managing editor and reports on education for WORLD Magazine and WORLD Digital.