Earthquakes and Eruptions in Hawaii

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Earthquakes and Eruptions in Hawaii

Dillon Baggs, Staff Writer

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The islands of Hawaii are facing chaos in the wake of a volcanic eruption, with around 1,500 evacuation orders for residents. The Kilauea volcano erupted in the morning hours of May 4th, after remaining dormant since 2014. The Kilauea volcano is the most active out of the five that make up Hawaii, and has a history of activity, erupting 34 times since the 1950’s. However, the Kilauea is nonexplosive, seeping lava instead of spewing it into the sky. Usually spilling into the cracks and fissures of the national park surrounding the volcano, lava is instead spreading miles away from the summit. Scientist believe the eruption was caused by a series of earthquakes, specifically one that reached 6.9 magnitude, Hawaii’s largest in 40 years. The earthquakes altered the “plumbing” of the volcano, causing “fire fountains,” cracks that spew lava up to 230 ft. in the air. There are no reported deaths or injuries, and the eruption is estimated to be a short one.