Hawaii tourism officials are hoping Kilauea's eruption won't deter travelers from visiting the state's largest island, even as geologists warn the volcano could soon shoot large boulders out of its summit. There were no eruptions overnight, but the O'Neal said the situation is still unstable. The USGS reported a shallow but small natural disaster with a magnitude of 3.5 hit the island on Saturday. If it falls below the water table, water will pour onto the lava, generating steam that will likely explode from the summit in a shower or rocks, ash and sulfur dioxide gases.
President Donald Trump has declared Hawaii with volcanic eruptions since last week a disaster zone, as the Big Island braces for more volcanic eruption damage.
"We've got all the warning signs we need", said Steve Brantley, the deputy scientist-in-charge for the U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory HVO, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports. The observatory said that 15 fissures, which have emerged since May 3, have not produced any lava since Wednesday.
Scientists said the lava flow forming in the crack has been minor, but that could always change.
After the Kilauea volcano erupted, the lava burned 37 structures including 27 homes, and forced 1,700 evacuations. Since then, lava has destroyed at least 25 homes and covered over 117 acres.
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Kilauea is one of the most active volcanoes in the world and one of five on the island.
The Hawaii National Guard is prepared, with only 90-minutes notice, to rescue some 2,000 people by ground convoy in troop-carrying vehicles and, if necessary, in Blackhawk or Chinook helicopters.
The volcano began spewing lava at around 9pm last Thursday night (local time), forcing hundreds of residents on Hawaii's Big Island to evacuate. Residents and officials remained concerned about potential explosions and toxic gas leaks from the plant's underground wells, which provide heat for electricity production.
Additional funds are needed to address the permanent damage the volcanic activity and earthquakes have caused, he added. Lava flows from the volcano, one of five on the island, have buried an area about 125 square kilometers, according to the USGS.