Volcano toxic gas alert for Hawaii residents

Villagers look on as Mount Sinabung volcano spews thick volcanic ash in Karo Indonesia on Friday May 19

Villagers look on as Mount Sinabung volcano spews thick volcanic ash in Karo Indonesia on Friday May 19

The Leilani Estates community remains in greatest danger, with 15 volcanic fissures so far having destroyed 36 structures, majority homes, and forcing the evacuation of about 2,000 residents.

Travel industry executives note most of the Big Island is free of eruption threats from Kilauea, which began spurting lava into a residential neighbourhood last week.

The lava emission appears to have paused since Wednesday but scientists are warning residents of acid rain, falling ash, and eruptions that could occur Friday and in coming weeks.

Geologists expect new lava outbreaks in or around the hard-hit Leilani Estates area in the southeastern Puna district, about 32km south of Hilo, where 27 homes have been destroyed and all 1900 residents have been moved. It's been sluggish and somewhat cooler as a result, she said.

Rachel Smigelski-Theiss is among those who have changed their plans.

"The earthquakes that we get at volcanoes can tell us an bad lot of what the magma is doing as it's moving through the rocks", Johnson told CBC News.

Due to the anticipated steam-induced explosion at the summit of Kīlauea caused by the receding lava lake, and the possibility of a rock and ash fall event, the majority of the park is closed until further notice.

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Geologists are warning a possible explosion at the summit of Kilauea could be the largest in almost 100 years, hurling boulders the size of refridgerators.

As long as people stay away, they will be safe, Johnson said, noting that residents are likely well aware of the potential dangers while tourists may be less so.

"This is three football fields going down", Charles Mandeville, volcano hazards coordinator for the U.S. Geological Survey, said. "When you start seeing ferns go brown overnight, it's like, 'Wow, I gotta get out of here, '" said Peters, sitting at a Red Cross evacuation center at a sports center in nearby Pahoa.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpPruitt dined with Cardinal accused of sexual abuse: report Kelly: No consideration on leaving White House despite "times of great frustration" Kelly: Trump "embarrassed" by Russian Federation probe MORE on Friday approved a disaster declaration for Hawaii as the state deals with damage from a volcanic eruption on its largest island. The volcano is the youngest and most active on the Big Island. However, he also noted that tourism is the island's biggest industry and people's livelihoods are dependent on visitors coming.

"We want to make sure that everybody is still working and people have jobs to go back to", Birch said.

The move will make federal financial assistance available to state and local governments as they fix roads, public parks, schools and water pipes damaged by the eruption.

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