Published: Sun, May 13, 2018
World Media | By Cesar Oliver

Pres. Trump Approves Financial Aid for Hawaii Over Volcanic Eruption

Pres. Trump Approves Financial Aid for Hawaii Over Volcanic Eruption

The volcano has sputtered lava for a week, forcing around 2,000 residents to evacuate, and destroying some two dozen homes and threatening a geothermal plant.

She said hotter, fresher and gassier magma can result in more voluminous lava flows.

Hawaii's Kilauea volcano continues to erupt, creating lava-oozing fissures and prompting new concerns about possible toxic gas, acid rain, and flying refrigerator-sized boulders. Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Scientist Tina Neal said Friday that an analysis of rock samples indicates the lava's chemistry is similar to that from a 1955 eruption.

But the added threat of an explosive eruption could ground planes at one of the Big Island's two major airports and pose other dangers.

"It can be very hard to distinguish individual "plumes" from these sulfur dioxide sources with the spatial resolution that we have from OMPS, but we are seeing what seems to be an overall increase that coincides with the latest activity", said Michigan Tech volcanologistSimon Carn. While locals contend with lava and gas on the ground, explosions at Kilauea's summit some 25 miles (40 km) to the west were dusting communities with ash that irritated eyes and breathing.

Earlier this week, geologists warned that the rapid lowering of a lava lake in a crater raised the potential for explosions.

The Hawaii volcano could blow its top in the coming days and cause a widespread disaster on the island, according to the latest from United States officials.

"If it goes up, it will come down", said Charles Mandeville, volcano hazards coordinator for the U.S. Geological Survey.

Hawaii Governor David Ige has requested federal disaster assistance as he said a mass evacuation of the lower Puna District, where Leilani Estates is located, would be beyond current county and state capabilities.

Scientists said Wednesday the risks of an explosive summit eruption will rise in coming weeks as magma drains down the flank of the volcano.

The CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority, the agency that markets Hawaii to the world, said Kilauea is being monitored around the clock to provide the public with the best information. The volcano is the youngest and most active on the Big Island.

Ross Birch, the executive director of the Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau, said he knows that officials "walk the fine line". "We know it is a distinct possibility". But he also tells Reuters that there's not too much cause for alarm for most people.

The move makes financial assistance available to fix damaged roads, schools, and public parks.

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