Published: Tue, June 12, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Small explosions, seismic activity continues from Hawaii's Kilauea

Small explosions, seismic activity continues from Hawaii's Kilauea

County Civil Defense Agency Administrator Talmadge Magno told reporters Monday that fewer workers are needed to staff a 24-hour operations center and officials are reducing checkpoints.

No one has died in this Hawaii eruption but some 600 homes have been swallowed by lava flows from Kilauea since May 3, Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim said last week.

There's no way to know when the eruption will end or if more lava-spewing vents will open, according to USGS scientists. A fissure is shooting fountains of lava into the air, which is flowing to the ocean. Magno says additional workers can be called in if conditions change.

At 12:51 a.m. HST, USGS says another small explosion occurred at Kīlauea's summit, which was of an equivalent Magnitude 5.4. There were two small blasts Monday, including one after a magnitude-5.4 natural disaster, scientists said.

Those earthquakes have continued near the summit, according to Jim Kauahikaua, a geophysicist with the US Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

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Gas emissions remain "very high" from the various eruptions and have increased over the past two weeks, with winds expected to bring vog - a smog containing volcanic gases and debris - to the south and west sides of Hawaii.

Kilauea has been erupting since the start of May, with the resulting lava flow destroying hundreds of buildings.

The other half of the residents in a more vulnerable area are allowed back during the day if conditions are safe.

The lava's entry into the ocean was also producing laze - a hazardous mix of acidic steam, hydrochloric acid gas and tiny shards of volcanic glass.

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