Frequent gas explosion at Mt. Kilauea prompts more evacuations, community efforts

PAHOA, HI — The gas explosion at the crater of Kilauea volcano on Tuesday was so significant, officials at the Hawaiian Volcanoes Observatory say it generated enough energy equivalent to a 5.3 magnitude earthquake.

The Hawaii County civil defense agency then issued a warning to residents in the area affected by the earthquake to monitor utility connections of gas, electricity, and water.

Explosions at Kilauea’s summit has been a daily occurrence for Big Island residents since the volcano’s big explosion two months ago.

“Our biggest concern right now is the seismic activity and earthquakes. And the uncertainty of what could happen next. And we have to plan for any kind of event and we are not expecting any catastrophic event but we have to plan for that potentiality,” said Josh Broward.

The United States Geological Survey just released this alarming footage of lava whirlwind which is caused officials say when hot gases rise and punch through the cooler above. Lava now covers more than 6,100 acres on the Big Island. So far, 671 homes have been destroyed.

But in a few days, twenty families will be able to move into these newly built mini shelters in Pahoa, just a few miles from where their homes used to be before they were swallowed by rivers of lava.

Fil-Am Gilbert Aguinaldo, a Pahoa resident, initiated this project.

“Words cannot describe why and how the community came together, bits and pieces, like a puzzle. Everybody had a part of it. I just utilized all my resources that I have in my construction background and achieve this goal of building these micro tiny homes.”

These free housing units built on land donated by Sacred Heart church is just the first set of temporary shelters built by volunteers for evacuees. Hope Services who coordinated and helped with this project says more units will be built.

The federal emergency management agency says more than one thousand six hundred and forty households have registered for emergency financial help.

Red Cross says hundreds remain at emergency shelters, camped out in parks or on private farms.

Meanwhile, the National Weather Service just reported that trade winds are pushing toxic air to the south and west of the island.

 

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