Erupting Kilauea volcano continues to bring molten, laze, drinking water problems for residents

Residents of the Big Island woke up this week to news that a park and a school in the Puna area have been covered by lava.

Four more houses in the last 24 hours have also been engulfed by slow-moving river of molten rocks, adding that to the 700 other homes destroyed so far.

Kilauea volcano has been erupting for 10 weeks.

Helen and Jessie Gacula have lived on the Big Island for most of their adult lives. They live and own a business just ten miles away from the erupting volcano.

“What we’re praying all the time is that no any fissures coming towards us, you know.”

The Gaculas like the rest of the island’s 200,000 residents have been reminded daily by officials of the dangers of vog and laze.

“As far as acid rain, we do have a problem where the lava enters the ocean down at the bottom. It creates what’s called laze,” said Alan B. Richmond, police spokesperson. “And that is hydrochloric acid so people are not in the area so it essentially blows away into the atmosphere.”

Those who use catchment systems for water, Hawaii officials say, should be aware of the risk of acid rain getting into drinking water.

“But the residents up here, their nerves are pretty much on edge as we still get about 30 to 40, they’re not really earthquakes — but people call them earthquakes, per hour, so they range from anywhere between a 2.0 to 5.4 which we have them yesterday. As I am speaking to you now, we’ve had a couple more rumbles.”

On Monday, Hawaii county Mayor Harry Kim declared a state of emergency for at least the next 60 days, but hoping Kilauea would quiet down sooner.

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