#KilaueaEruption Hawaii Residents on The Big Island May Face More Evacuations, Power Plant May Shut Down

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Residents on the Big Island of Hawaii were alerted on Thursday to rising levels of toxic gas from lava-oozing fissures, and geologists warned that new areas east of the erupting Kilauea volcano may be at risk to molten rock bursting from the ground.1-kilauea

Hawaii County authorities sent a text message to residents of the southeast corner of the island notifying them that a wind change would bring rising levels of sulfur dioxide gas, which can be fatal if inhaled in large quantities.

“Due to decreasing trade winds, residents are advised to monitor their sensitivity to increased levels of SO2,” the text message sent at 9:22 a.m. said.

Hawaii’s governor has warned that mass evacuations may be required as more fissures open in the ground and spew lava and gas into semi-rural residential areas on the east flank of Kilauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes.

Authorities on Thursday completed the removal of highly flammable chemicals from a nearby geothermal power plant that was in the path of creeping lava.

The latest upheaval at Kilauea began last week after the crater floor of a long-active side vent collapsed suddenly in a cloud of ash, triggering a similar plunge in the molten lake inside the larger crater at the volcano’s summit.

What followed was a flurry of earthquakes as huge volumes of magma — the term for lava beneath the surface — drained back through deep-underground passages that carried the molten rock far downslope. The lava then forced its way back to the surface through large cracks, or fissures, that opened at ground level in a residential area miles (km) away.

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Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs are Courtesy:  AP
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