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Wed, 22 Aug 2018
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Kilauea lava flows destroy 600 homes, marking its most destructive eruption in modern times

Kilauea lava flows
© REUTERS/Terray Sylvester
Lava destroys homes in the Kapoho area, east of Pahoa, during ongoing eruptions of the Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii, U.S., June 5, 2018.
Approximately 600 homes have been swallowed by lava flows from Kilauea Volcano on Hawaii's Big Island since early last month, marking its most destructive eruption in modern times, Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim said on Thursday.

The latest estimate of property losses from Kilauea, one of the world's most active volcanoes, far surpasses the 215 structures consumed by lava during an earlier eruption cycle that began in 1983 and continued nearly nonstop over three decades.

Kim said Kilauea, one of five volcanoes on the Big Island, formally known as the Island of Hawaii, has never destroyed so many homes before in such a short period of time.

The latest volcanic eruption, which entered its 36th day on Thursday, stands as the most destructive in the United States since at least the cataclysmic 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens in Washington state that reduced hundreds of square miles to wasteland, according to geologist Scott Rowland, a volcano specialist from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

A similar, extremely violent eruption from Fuego volcano in Guatemala this week killed more than 100 people as it ejected deadly super-heated "pyroclastic" flows of lava and ash through nearby towns.

The latest damage appraisal from Kilauea came moments after Governor David Ige, on a visit to Hawaii County Civil Defense headquarters in Hilo, the island's biggest city, signed a memorandum of understanding furnishing $12 million in immediate state disaster relief to the island.

Comment: Earth in upheaval: Hawaii has been hit by over 12,000 earthquakes during last 30 days


Guatemala's Fuego volcano toll reaches 109 with almost 200 missing and presumed dead, criticism grows over evacuation

Fuego volcano eruption recovery
© Johan Ordonez/AFP/Getty Images
Municipal firefighters search for victims in the ash-covered village of San Miguel Los Lotes, in Escuintla, about 20 miles southwest of Guatemala City, on Wednesday.
Guatemala's opposition is accusing the head of the country's emergency response agency of failing to heed warnings ahead of the eruption of a volcano that has left 109 dead and almost 200 others missing.

The finger-pointing came as rain showers and the fear of mudslides hindered the search for possible survivors and the recovery of the dead from Sunday's eruption of Fuego (Spanish for fire). It is one of Central America's most active volcanoes.

The volcano blanketed nearby villages in ash and sent fast-moving toxic pyroclastic flows down into valleys as people living nearby rushed to escape the onslaught.

"You have a great responsibility over what happened," Congressman Mario Taracena, speaking in the Guatemalan Congress, said of Sergio Cabañas, the executive secretary of the National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction, also known as CONRED.

"Anyone with a little common sense would have done something," Taracena said, according to El Periódico. "They did not care and they did not take precautions."

The director of the National Institute of Seismology, Volcanology, Meteorology and Hydrology, Eddy Sánchez, also came in for criticism.

Sánchez explained that his agency issued several bulletins during the day ahead of the eruption. However, CONRED officials said they did not receive enough information to properly evaluate the risk posed by the mountain.

Comment: See also:


Adapt 2030 Ice Age Report: Massive uptick in Earth Changes and mainstream media doesn't report the interconnections

Fuego volcano eruption
© AFP/Getty Images
Fuego volcano eruption on June 3rd 2018, Guatemala's deadliest since 1902
It is almost unthinkable that the media is not reporting on the interconnections of the massive uptick in Earth Changes we are seeing at the moment. Snows in June in seven countries in the Northern Hemisphere, the relationship between increasing galactic cosmic rays and volcanic eruptions and how this in-turn affects our crops globally. They don't want to talk about crop losses or the connecting to next year being more unusual than this year with heavier losses on tap in 2019. This is a full explanation how it all intersects and a forecast going out to 2021.

Comment: The world is seeing a rapid upsurge in extreme weather according to a recent report. For more information on these events from around the world, check out our Earth Changes Summaries. The latest video: SOTT Earth Changes Summary - April 2018: Extreme Weather, Planetary Upheaval, Meteor Fireballs

Related articles include: To understand how and why these extreme weather events are occurring read Earth Changes and the Human Cosmic Connection by Pierre Lescaudron and Laura Knight-Jadczyk.


Fuego volcanic eruption in Guatemala buried villages under meters of hot ash

In San Miguel Los Lotes close to Guatemala's most active volcano, firefighters are working hard, but hope is slim
Residents flee El Rodeo village after the Fuego volcano erupted
Residents flee El Rodeo village after the Fuego volcano erupted.
A rescue crew emerges from an immense cloud of fine grey dust carrying two stretchers that hold bodies recovered from houses engulfed by blistering lava from the nearby erupting Fuego volcano.

The recovered bodies are tightly wrapped in dusty white sheets. One barely fills half the stretcher - a young victim of the most deadly volcanic eruption to hit Guatemala in decades.

The official death toll from the Fuego disaster is 69 but the final number is likely to be far higher, with scores of people missing from dozens of communities cut off by the devastation.

Comment: That number has since been revised to 75. Another 200 people are missing.

Comment: This was an exceptional eruption, even for fiery Guatemala; its deadliest volcanic eruption since 1902.

Meanwhile Hawaii's Kilauea is still highly active following its strongest eruption in a century.

Earth's rockin and rollin!


Fuego Volcano Eruption Guatemala's Deadliest Since 1902: Death Toll Rises to 75 - UPDATES

Fuego volcano eruption
© Orlando Estrada/AFP/Getty Images
A policeman carries an elderly evacuee in Alotenango, 55 km southwest of Guatemala
President considers declaring state of emergency in region as smoke and ash forces closure of capital's La Aurora airport

At least 25 people, including three children, have been killed and nearly 300 injured on Sunday in the most violent eruption of Guatemala's Fuego volcano in more than four decades, officials said.

Fuego volcano, whose name means "fire" in English, spewed an 8km (five-mile) stream of lava and belched a thick plume of black smoke and ash that rained onto the capital and other regions.

Sergio Cabanas, the general secretary of Guatemala's Conred disaster agency, said on the radio: "It's a river of lava that overflowed its banks and affected the Rodeo village. There are injured, burned and dead people."

Mario Cruz, spokesman for the volunteer firefighter corps, said: "We have seven confirmed dead, four adults and three kids, who were already taken to the morgue." He added that 3,100 people had evacuated the area so far. The disaster agency later updated the death toll to 25.

President Jimmy Morales said he had convened his ministers and was considering declaring a state of emergency in the departments of Chimaltenango, Escuintla and Sacatepequez.

It is the second time the volcano has erupted this year, setting off loud explosions and spewing ash into the sky. Soot blanketed cars and houses in the nearby villages of San Pedro Yepocapa and Sangre de Cristo.

Comment: In the past few days Indonesia's Mount Merapi had the biggest eruption this year, as on-going volcanic and seismic activity continues at Hawaii's Kilauea volcano.

Update 5th June 2018

Soldiers are helping firefighters search for missing people after Sunday's horrific volcanic eruption in Guatemala, when torrents of superheated rock, ash and mud destroyed villages.

The official death toll from the destruction at the Fuego volcano has risen to 69, the authorities say.

Thousands of people are being housed in temporary shelters.

Volcanologists report the eruption, which sent ash up to 10km (33,000ft) into the sky, is now over.

The eruption also generated pyroclastic flows - fast-moving mixtures of very hot gas and volcanic matter - descending down the slopes, engulfing communities such as El Rodeo and San Miguel Los Lotes.

PBS NewsHour:
Why did Fuego's pyroclastic flow kill so many?

Fuego's lethal eruption took the form of a pyroclastic flow, the same searing cloud of debris that cooked and choked the city of Pompeii after Mount Vesuvius exploded in 79 AD.

On its surface, a pyroclastic flow looks like a falling cloud of ash. But if you could peer into the cloud, you would find a really hot and fast-moving storm of solid rock, said Janine Krippner, a volcanologist at Concord University who studies pyroclastic flows.

"It's not really like anything else on Earth," Krippner said. People are familiar with avalanches of rock or landslides, but pyroclastic flows move much more quickly, traveling more than 50 miles per hour. The upper part of the pyroclastic flow resembles a grainy sandstorm, but it is filled with hot gases, whose temperatures range from 400 to 1,300 degrees Fahrenheit.

"The bottom [of this cloud] is a jumble of chaotic [lava] rocks. It's large boulders that are breaking up into smaller pieces," Krippner said. "They can knock trees down like matchsticks and destroy houses. They can send cars flying. They're incredibly dangerous.".....

"When you reach the surface with magma, there is a lot less pressure because there's a lot less rock, so the gas comes out," Krippner said. "During a violent eruption, that gas expands rapidly, forming bubbles in the magma. That then explodes, blowing the magma apart like shaking a bottle of coke and then opening the top."

But instead of foam, Fuego released sprays of solid rock.

Krippner said Fuego's latest eruption produced a larger-than-average pyroclastic flow, given it spread more than 10 kilometers downslope of the volcano crater. This may explain why it took so many by surprise.

More than 3,100 people have been evacuated and 1.7 million people have been affected by the eruption, according to CONRED, the government agency for disaster reduction, reported by CNN. Guatemala's President Jimmy Morales has declared three days of national mourning.

The eruption officially ended late Sunday, said Guatemala's National Institute of Seismology, Vulcanology, Meteorology and Hydrology. "The eruption ... is reaching its end with 14.763 feet of ash and weak-to-moderate explosions and incandescence in its crater," it said in a statement.

But it warned there could be new eruptions, and residents in the surrounding areas should be on alert for mudslides containing volcanic material.

Residents flee El Rodeo village after the Fuego volcano erupted
Residents flee El Rodeo village after the Fuego volcano erupted.
How exceptional was the eruption?

Fuego is one of Latin America's most active volcanoes. A major eruption devastated nearby farms in 1974, but no deaths were recorded.

Another eruption in February this year sent ash 1.7km (1.1 mile) into the sky.

Sunday's event was on a much greater scale.

This eruption is Guatemala's deadliest such event since 1902, when an eruption of the Santa Maria volcano killed thousands of people.
Update 6th June 2018

RT reports:
The death toll from the ongoing eruption of Guatemala's Fuego volcano (Volcano of Fire) climbed to 75 people on Tuesday. The bodies were recovered by search and rescue teams, Guatemala's National Institute of Forensic Studies confirmed, saying that only 23 have been identified so far. It is feared that the number of victims can rise substantially since 192 people still remain unaccounted for.


Hawaii shook by shallow 5.5 magnitude earthquake as Kilauea volcano eruption continues

An ash plume rises from Halemaumau Crater
© USGS/HVO webcam
An ash plume rises from Halemaumau Crater at 4 p.m. HST Sunday, June 3, 2018.
HAWAII'S Big Island has been rocked by a magnitude 5.5 earthquake at a depth of 1.14km and 5km south-west of Kilauea Volcano, near Crater Rim Drive, Pahoa, according to the US Geological Survey.

It is the largest earthquake to strike the island since a 6.9 earthquake rocked Hawaii on May 4 near the erupting volcano.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said some areas may have experienced strong shaking.

However, they have currently not issued a tsunami warning.

No damages or injuries have currently been reported.

The tremor was located near Mount Kilauea, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Kilauea Military Camp, Volcano House and Volcano Winery.

There have been over 500 earthquakes in the summit area of Kilauea in the last 24 hours.

The quake sent a plume of ash up to 8,000 ft as the wind blew in the southwest direction.

Brian Shiro, a supervisory geophysicist at the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, said it was the highest rate of quakes ever measured at the summit area.


Drone footage reveals mysterious cracks in Kilauea

hawaii volcano
© Getty
A drone mission has alarmed scientists monitoring the erupting Hawaii volcano.
A drone mission has alarmed scientists monitoring the erupting Hawaii volcano, which has become one of the world's most dangerous and volatile sites.

Kilauea has shocked the world with streams of lava swallowing houses and giant fissures opening up across Hawaii.

The latest aerial drone footage of the volcano has revealed dramatic changes within the volcano spotted at one of Kilauea's main craters

There are new alarming cracks and fault seen in a collapsed crater, some of which are spewing with intense steam.

Scientists are concerned that an "expanding collapsed crater" and the debris blocking the vent could trigger a massive explosion.


Indonesia's Mount Merapi explodes in biggest eruption this year, red alert issued with flight warnings

Merapi June 1st 2018
© Indonesia National Disaster Mitigation Agency
Indonesia raised the flight warning around the Mount Merapi volcano in Magelang, Central Java to its highest level on Friday (Jun 1) after it sent a towering plume of grey ash more than 6km into the air, its biggest eruption this year.

The Volcano Observatory Notice for Aviation (VONA) issued a code red warning alert, which means that a volcanic eruption is underway with significant emission of ash into the atmosphere.

However, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) said the latest eruption lasted about two minutes and the Adi Sucipto International Airport in Yogyakarta remains open.

Mount Merapi is about 28km from the city of Yogyakarta.

Comment: It would appear that volcanic and geologic activity around the world is on the increase: For more pics of June 1st's eruption at Mount Merapi click here.


'Vog' from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano blankets Marshall Islands, 3700km away

Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano smog or ‘vog’
© Chris Stewart/AP
Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano has been sending volcanic smog or ‘vog’ into the atmosphere.

Officials have warned that volcanic smog would continue moving west, as Marshall Islands issues health warning

Haze from the Kilauea volcano eruption in Hawaii blanketed the Marshall Islands 3,700 kilometres (2,300 miles) away on Sunday, as officials warned it would continue moving west.

The haze, a phenomenon known as "vog" or volcanic smog, is spreading across Micronesia, the US National Weather Service based in Guam said.

The volcano on Hawaii's Big Island is now in its fourth week of eruptions.

Meteorologists advised residents on the Marshall Islands with respiratory problems to stay indoors while airlines and shipping companies were warned to be aware of "lower visibilities".

The Guam weather office said haze produced by Kilauea would spread westward and reach Kosrae, Pohnpei and possibly Chuuk in the Federated States of Micronesia over the next few days.

Kilauea is the world's most active volcano and one of five on Hawaii's Big Island.

It started erupting on 3 May, prompting about 2,000 people to flee from their mountainside homes.

Scientists believe the volcanic activity may be a precursor to a major eruption similar to the one that shook the island in the mid-1920s.


Uncharted territory: Kilauea lava flow begins engulfing Hawaii's geothermal power plant

lava flow hawaii power plant
Lava from Hawaii's erupting Kilauea volcano has reached the Puna Geothermal Venture plant, covering a well and threatening another. At the same time, fast-moving lava flows are now threatening nearby communities, prompting new evacuations.

"Lava flow from Fissures 7 and 21 crossed into PGV [Puna Geothermal Venture] property overnight and has now covered one well that was successfully plugged," declared the Hawaii Civil Defense Agency in a statement released on Sunday, May 27 at 6:00 pm local time. "That well, along with a second well 100 feet [30 meters] away, are stable and secured, and are being monitored. Also due to preventative measures, neither well is expected to release any hydrogen sulfide."

Comment: This may just be the beginning. And not just for Hawaii.