Hawaii volcano's sulfur dioxide threatens health

Hawaii volcano's sulfur dioxide threatens health

Astronauts from inside the International Space Station have viewed the massive eruption of the Kilauea Volcano and witnessed the ongoing volcanic eruption which is located on the Big Island of Hawaii. More than two dozen homes have been destroyed.

Since the eruptions began, 37 structures have been destroyed and officials have ordered the evacuations of almost 2,000 people, mostly in the hard-hit Leilani Estates area.

Late on Monday officials gave an update on volcano's East Rift zone, warning that fissures in the southeast of the Lanipuna Gardens neighborhood are issuing high levels of Sulfur Dioxide gas.

The area affected by ongoing seismic activity, summit deflation, and a possible steam explosion at the summit of Kīlauea is the eastern part of the state near Leilani Estates, an area that contains less than 5% of the island's population, Okabe said.

This is the "first leak we're seeing out of the bucket", Birch said.

This image released by the US Geological Survey shows a fissure still erupting on May 14, 2018, and supplying lava to a flow that was still advancing at Hawaii's Big Island.

On Monday, the Hawaii State Department of Health warned residents in Lanipuna Gardens of unsafe levels of sulfur dioxide gas.

"Eruption of lava continues from multiple points along the northeast end of the active fissure system", the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said in a briefing. The industry grew the fastest on the Big Island previous year compared to other islands in the archipelago, pulling in about $2.5 billion in visitor spending. Civil defense officials warn of volcanic gas emissions and active eruptions with this new fissure.

A fissure that opened Sunday led authorities to order 10 people to flee their homes, Hawaii County Managing Director Wil Okabe said. No homes or roadways are threatened by this flow.

Geologists warn Kilauea's summit could have an explosive steam eruption that would hurl huge rocks and ash miles into the sky.

People nixing vacations to the Big Island have cost the tourism industry millions of dollars as the top attraction keeps spewing lava.

Residents living near the fissure were told to evacuate and two nearby community centers were serving as shelters for people and pets.

There are now 18 open fissures on Kilauea and lava has scorched more than 117 acres.

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