Kilauea Volcano Erupts in Hawaii

May 21, 2018


Photo Credit: Juliana Ferrie/Achona Online

Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano has been actively erupting since 1983.

On May 3, 2018, Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano began to erupt, which has led to critical conditions for residents of the Big Island. The eruption is ongoing. Kilauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes, is a shield volcano. A shield volcano consists of basalt, which contributes to flowing lava. Shield volcanoes usually erupt dramatically only when water is present in the vent.

Madison Chandler (‘19) said, “The eruption in Hawaii sounds like a horror movie. I think that it is really scary and sad that the people living there have to deal with so much destruction because of a natural disaster.”

The eruption began soon after a 5.0 magnitude earthquake struck the Big Island. Kilauea’s eruption created 21 fissures, which are releasing sulfur dioxide and lava. Sulfur dioxide is a toxic gas that poses a major threat to civilians, who can suffocate if exposed to the gas.

Some of the fissures have been shooting lava into the air at heights of over 100 feet. In addition, the lava contributed to the destruction of several resident homes and other buildings.

Hannah Rodriguez (‘19) said, “I can’t imagine what it would feel like to suddenly lose everything to something you can’t control like a volcano erupting. I am sending my thoughts and prayers to everyone who has been affected by the eruption. I hope that the volcano quits erupting soon.”

As of May 20, 2018, lava from the eruption began to enter the ocean, creating several more health risks for civilians. When the lava hit the water, it created laze, which releases hydrochloric acid and glass particles into the air.

Sofia Tweed (‘20) said, “I think that nature works in a lot of cool ways, but it is also very scary. My prayers go out to the people of the Big Island.”

The eruption has led to the evacuation of thousands of civilians. The evacuations are being led by the National Guard through the use of helicopters. Firefighters have also been present around areas sustaining severe destruction.

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