Volcano Erupts In Hawaii

Lava flowing onto a public road.

Lava flowing onto a public road.

Warren Whitaker, Staff Writer

When you think of Hawaii, you think of clear, blue water and white, sandy beaches. You almost never think of toxic gas, earthquakes and natural disasters. However that has been just the case for the small island as of lately.

Four weeks ago, Hawaii’s big island volcano, Kilauea, erupted. It is the youngest and most active volcano in the Hawaiian Islands.  It produced high amounts of molten rock and sulfur dioxide. The eruption was followed by a 6.9 magnitude earthquake. Cracks began to form on the volcano’s East Rift Zone, which is an area of fissures that’s miles away from the volcano’s summit. The lava produced from the eruption has destroyed more than 80 homes and has cut off access to many major neighborhoods on the Big Island. “I hope everyone is okay,” hopes sophomore Clifton Crosby.

Although the volcano erupted only a month ago, its effects are still being felt by many residents living on the big island. Roughly 2,000 people have been forced to evacuate since May 3, as the neighborhoods of Vacationland, Kapolo Beach, Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens have either been destroyed or cut off by the eruption. Mandatory evacuations have been undergoing due to the lava flow. If a resident stays behind, they risk getting arrested or trapped by the lava. “I think the idea of taking people out of harms way is a good one, but I don’t think it should be as extreme as arresting anyone,” commented junior Melanie Battle. The lava has covered 5.5 square miles, which is four times the size of Central Park in New York.

The volcanic eruption in Hawaii has devastated the island. It has caused 10,000 total earthquakes since it began and has produced high levels of lava and ash. The eruption has lasted for over a month and shows no signs of slowing down.