High Alert: Hawaii Volcano's toll nears 600 homes destroyed by lava; no end in sight
US Military News TV
The number of homes and structures destroyed by lava on Hawaii’s Big Island has jumped to nearly 600 -- making the Kilauea eruption the most catastrophic event in modern state history, Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim said Thursday.
Kim, who lost his own home to the devastating magma march that began in May, has been pushing for more funding to help thousands of displaced residents.
That help came Thursday after Hawaii Gov. David Ige signed a memorandum of understanding that freed up $12 million in immediate disaster relief to the island. The money covers overtime pay for police, fire, public works and civil defense personnel. It also provides funds for equipment needed for evacuations and rebuilding.
“This is an ongoing emergency and we’re in the early stages of damage assessment, but we do know that costs for overtime, equipment and materials are mounting,” Ige said. “This funding will help the county continue to protect the health, safety and welfare of area residents.”
Kim, who had previously said it would take a minimum of $5 million per mile to repair roads ravaged by Kilauea, said the $12 million will help Hawaii County “focus on the critical tasks of making life better for our people affected by the eruption.”
Ige and Kim also announced the formation of a federal, state and local task force that would develop a recovery plan for the hardest-hit communities.
“Our responsibility is to try to work with the community to rebuild out of harm’s way,” Kim said.
Thousands of residents have been left shell-shocked by the devastation that’s been pounding the island. Most recently, a huge river of lava has engulfed two entire seaside subdivisions – Vacationland and Kapoho Beach Lots. That’s on top of the losses at Leilani Estates, one of the first areas to feel the destructive power of Kilauea.
“So if you combine the three of them, we’re talking about 600 homes,” Kim said, adding that the number doesn’t account for the farmers, ranchers and their employees forced off their land and out of work.
Scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey say they don’t know when the volcanic activity will stop.
Late Thursday, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reported that fissure 8 “is very active and producing a large channelized flow that has filled in Kapoho Bay.”
HVO said the lava delta is 1.2 miles wide and added that “ocean entry is sending a large laze plume into the air along the coastline.”
As of early Friday 24 separate fissures covered nearly 8 square miles of land in lava. The fountain of lava at fissure 8 has reached as high as 250 feet in the air.
If that wasn’t enough, residents have had to deal with more than 9,000 earthquakes that have rattled the Big Island since May 3. The largest, a magnitude 6.9, produced an ash plume that was 30,000 feet high.
Earth In Travail: Hawaii Hammered By Over 12,000 Earthquakes In The Last 30 Days
8 June, 2018
We haven’t seen anything like this since Hawaii first became a state back in 1959. Kilauea began erupting on May 3rd, and it hasn’t stopped rumbling yet. In fact, authorities are telling us that Hawaii has been struck by “over 12,000 earthquakes” during the last 30 days.
While most of the earthquakes have been relatively mild at magnitude 2 or 3, the largest earthquake was a massive 6.9 magnitude tremor on May 4, along with a 5.5 magnitude quake on June 4.Brian Shiro, a supervisory geophysicist at the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, said the island was witnessing the highest rate of quakes ever measured at the summit.A magnitude 5.6 earthquake has struck the summit of Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano summit, sending a plume of ash and rock about 10,000 feet into the sky.Hawaii County officials said the Wednesday eruption could cause ash to fall over some populated areas, including the towns of Volcano and Pahala.The temblor came just hours after U.S. Geological Survey scientist Wendy Stovall said another eruption was imminent.
On Sunday, the flow crept toward Kapoho Bay, a roughly 1,000-foot-wide ocean retreat. By Tuesday, the lava flow had completely engulfed the bay and surrounding neighborhoods.“Kapoho Bay is gone. Wiped out. Completely filled in with lava,” wrote Hawaii News Now. The outlet reported thathundreds of homes have been destroyed, including the second home of the Big Island’s mayor. Official counts peg the loss at about 200 structures demolished by the volcano since May, according to Reuters, though they will undoubtedly rise.
We shall see.
Otto Mazariegos, president of the Association of Municipal and Departmental Firefighters, said that bodies had been buried on inaccessible sites on the volcano’s south side, which overlooks the city of Antigua.“We saw bodies totally, totally buried, like you saw in Pompeii,” he said, according to The New York Times.The death toll from Guatemala’s Fuego volcano rose to at least 99 on Wednesday, with many people still missing, after two strong explosions that scattered ash over a wide area and displaced thousands of residents from their homes.The scenes of devastation were accompanied by heartbreaking stories of entire families devastated by the disaster — the biggest eruption from the mountain in four decades.Entire families were killed instantly by the mud, ash and rock, and many of the bodies may never be found.
The saddest story that I have come across so far is from a woman named Lilian Hernandez. She told reporters that she is missing a total of 36 family members…
Lilian Hernandez wept as she spoke the names of aunts, uncles, cousins, her grandmother and two great-grandchildren — 36 family members in all — missing and presumed dead in the explosion of Guatemala’s Volcano of Fire.
“My cousins Ingrid, Yomira, Paola, Jennifer, Michael, Andrea and Silvia, who was just 2-years-old,” the distraught woman said — a litany that brought into sharp relief the scope of a disaster for which the final death toll is far from clear.
Could you imagine losing 36 members of your family on a single day?
Despite all of our advanced technology, we are very much at the mercy of these enormous natural disasters, and our best and brightest minds might want to start looking into why our planet is suddenly becoming increasingly unstable.