Volcano Eruptions in Hawaii Destroy Homes and Displace Residents

Jason Darling, Sports Editor

Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano is currently erupting. This news should not come as a surprise though, as Kilauea is one of the world’s most active volcanoes and has been erupting continuously since 1983, 35 years ago. But in recent weeks, new fissures have opened up in residential, causing problems for those who live there. The volcano is spewing lava in Leilani Estates neighborhood on Hawaii’s big island. At least 14 new fissures have opened, with lava being sprayed as high as 330 feet, higher than the Statue of Liberty. These eruptions have destroyed at least 26 homes and evacuated 1700 residents.

These eruptions were not completely unexpected though, as the United States Geological Survey noticed increased signs of volcanic activity, including pressure building underground. They predicted that a new vent would form either on the cone of the volcano, or on the volcano’s East Rift Zone, upon which Leilani Estates sits. The eruption has also triggered an unusually large number of Earthquakes, including one with a magnitude of 6.9, Hawaii’s largest Earthquake in over 40 years,

Leilani Estates is not the first neighborhood that Kilauea has destroyed. It has built up sort of a reputation for destroying neighborhoods and burning forests. Residents know the risks of living near a volcano, and were given time after they were evacuated to go back to their homes and  gather precious belongings before leaving again.

Most of the time, the lava from Kilauea makes its way to the sea, where it cools, hardens, and becomes new land, but every once in awhile, a new vent will open, causing lava to spew in places where it previously hadn’t. This can potentially destroy homes, like it did in this case. There is almost nothing that can be done to stop the lava also, as water, barriers, and even bombs have been tried to stop the lava from destroying homes, but to no avail.

The eruption is expected to  continue and new vents could potentially open, hopefully they do not destroy any more houses.