Trump declares 'major disaster' in Hawaii following volcano's eruption

Sunday, 13 May, 2018

The volcano activity on the Big Island is not affecting Oahu.

Steam and gas rise along the edge of Kilauea's summit crater.

NASA's space satellites have been monitoring the eruptions and growth of lava fields at Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano, according to The Weather Channel. The resulting explosion can blast rock and ash for miles.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory recorded a lava temperature of 103°C at a crack in the ground at Leilani Estates on May 9, with residents describing the ground as mushy from the heat.

"If you are in your vehicle, keep the windows closed", the alert said. Lava is now covering more than 117 acres of land on the Big Island.

Attempts to stem the lava's flow have proven futile, and there are now fears of "ballistic projectiles" from these eruptions causing further damage. In addition to shutting the facility down, PGV removed around 60,000 gallons of pentane, a flammable solvent used in the generation of electricity at the plant, from the site, which is located in Kilauea's east rift zone. Geological Survey warned Wednesday that an explosive eruption could happen soon - though there's no way to tell when or if it will.

The Hawaii National Guard is prepared, with only 90-minutes notice, to rescue some 2,000 people by ground convoy in troop-carrying vehicles and, if necessary, in Blackhawk or Chinook helicopters.

"We are telling people to plan for the worst".

The new fissure opened up about a 1.6km east of the existing vent system that has devastated the island's Leilani Estates neighbourhood, with a few homes on the edge of the field where the vent opened on Saturday.

Hawaii experienced a magnitude 6.9 natural disaster on May 5 near the southern part of the volcano, the island's largest tremor in more than 40 years.

President Donald Trump declared a major disaster in Hawaii following a request by the state's governor due to the volcanic activity continuing to wreak havoc on the island.