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Hawaii volcano EXPLOSION - fears major eruption on its way
10 May 2018, 11:13 | Tara Lloyd
Lava destroys Hawaii home of Belleville native
A wide area could be potentially impacted by the thermal region outlined by the USGS as a high danger zone, according to Maiclaire Bolton-Smith, senior leader of research and content strategy for Irvine, Calif. -based catastrophe modeler CoreLogic.
The U.S. Geological Survey said Wednesday the risk will rise if the lava drops below the groundwater level beneath the summit's caldera or craterlike basin. That's because an influx of water inside could cause steam-driven explosions.
Below the summit, at least 15 fissures have split the ground open, sending lava shooting into the air in a residential neighbourhood and destroying dozens of homes.
The risk of explosions is the latest possibility in a chain of events that began April 30 with the collapse of a lava-filled crater 12 miles east of the summit.
Residents were being allowed to check on their properties from 7 a.m.to 6 p.m. each day but must be prepared to leave at a moment's notice, the Hawaii County Civil Defence Agency says. Gov. David Ige this afternoon issued an emergency proclamation to address concerns related to the geothermal energy plant, including creating a team to review and assess the existing PGV Emergency Response Plan and "develop a specific mission strategy deemed appropriate to mitigate potential impacts from lava".
Puna Geothermal Venture could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
It would be "very, very hazardous" if a volcanic vent were to open under the facility where the fuel is stored, the governor said.
Officials expect to finish removing the gas by Thursday.
Hawaii's insurance commissioner says all insured homes destroyed or damaged in the lava flow into a Hawaii neighborhood are covered.
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