Kilauea Volcano goes Ka-Boom

Jaidan Leonard, Columnist

On Thursday, May 3, 2018, the Kilauea volcano erupted on the main island, Hawai’i. The homes and cars of many citizens  were destroyed and swallowed by the lava. This previously dormant volcano suddenly erupting has taken many by surprise.  

Reference says that “an explosive volcanic eruption is caused by thick and sticky magma, which prevents gases from escaping and causes them to explode violently.” They are able to predict volcanoes using seismology. Seismology is the study of earthquakes and is one way to help predict volcanoes, so that they can get people to evacuate before it is too late. The reason they try to predict eruptions as early as possible is because the flowing lava can reach levels up to 2,000 degrees and reach speeds up to 40 miles per hour.

During the time of the explosion, a big concern was the sulfur dioxide in the air. It could cause mild to extreme irritation in the nose and throat, causing uncomfortable pain while trying to breathe. The people tried to evacuate out of the area because large numbers of the senior citizens were having respiratory problems.

The constant earthquakes following the eruption have also had a massive impact on the island. CNN says that 119 earthquakes have happened since Thursday afternoon, the biggest one being at a 6.9 on the Richter scale, which also happens to be the biggest one to happen on the island since 1975. Because of the constant earthquakes, 14,000 customers of Hawaii Electric Light lost power immediately after the earthquakes. Over 200 miles away, on the island of Oahu, people could feel the shaking. This has caused injuries and damage to many residents living in the area.

Although there haven’t been any deaths reported yet, many people have sustained injuries and lost valuable belongings such as sentimentals, cars, and homes. The cost of this disaster, however, is estimated to be up to be $2.9 million, because the lava destroyed over 100 football-fields-worth of land and homes. The earthquakes had residents in Leilani Estates alarmed and the burning fumes flowing. You can help these people by donating to local charities such as “Help The Children” through their earthquake and volcano relief fund, taking people in (if they’re family), and giving any support you can through websites like GoFundMe. Most people have been able to evacuate in time and will hopefully continue to stay safe.