Kīlauea Volcano On Hawaii Has Erupted, And Authorities Continue To Evacuate Residents To Safe Areas
Kīlauea is an active shield volcano on Hawaii. It is the youngest and most active of all five volcanoes. It breached the surface around 100,000 years ago but has been in existence for between 300,000 to 600,000 years.Catmando / Shutetrstock.com
The volcano has been active for a very long time, and the name Kīlauea translates to "spewing" or "much spreading" in Hawaiian. As much as 90% of the volcano’s surface is covered by lava that is less than 1,000 years old.Joe Belanger / Shutterstock.com
The first ever recorded eruption occurred in 1823, and according to the U.S. Geological Survey, the last eruption happened in January 3, 1983. The volcano continued spewing lava non-stop till date.
Another eruption has taken place
Authorities had warned of an impending eruption for months now, and on Thursday, May 3rd, the volcano blew its top. Massive columns of smoke were sighted rising out of the volcano and into the sky from the southeastern part of the Big Island.
Around 4:30pm, a river of lava from an underground breach began flowing towards surrounding villages, causing residents to hurriedly pack their belongings and flee.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, “spatter began erupting” just after 5 p.m.
One eye witness, Jeremiah Osuna who lives near Leilani Estates, shared his experience of the eruption with the Washington Post.
It sounded like there were rocks in a dryer that were being tumbled around. You could hear the power it of it pushing out of the ground.
Hawaii News Now also reported that a state of emergency was instituted by County of Hawaii’s acting mayor and Gov. David Ige. Hawaii’s National Guard was also immediately mobilized to help with the evacuations.
Frightened residents have been sharing videos of the eruption
The internet has been flooded with images of the erupting volcano, which are beautiful and terrifying at the same time.
OMG my island is on fire from Lava spewing from Kilauea volcano... #volcano #island #taylorfam @OmarGoshTV @shanedawson @ColbyBrock @sssniperwolf @SamGolbach @EltonCastee @SamandColby @TMZ #PRAY pic.twitter.com/AaAuhBirNq— Lisa-Hawaii (@Lisa96744) May 4, 2018
Thankfully, the eruption poses no immediate threat to the residents of the island, and evacuations were successful.
The eruption came hot on the heels of a 5.0-magnitude earthquake that hit the Big Island on Thursday morning. Geologists say this event resembles the 1955 eruption. Hawaii News Now reported that it lasted about three months and destroyed over 4,000 acres with lava.
Civil Defense on Friday morning said they noticed “extremely high levels of dangerous Sulfur Dioxide gas in evac area.” They are uncertain if the worst of the eruption is over. We hope the eruption this time is less disastrous and the people of Hawai remain safe.