Volcano toxic gas alert for Hawaii residents

No new fissures have emerged, leaving the total number at 15, authorities said. Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Scientist Tina Neal said Friday that an analysis of rock samples indicates the lava's chemistry is similar to that from a 1955 eruption.

High levels of acidic particles in vog "can induce asthma attacks, especially in adolescents, and can also impede the ability of the upper respiratory tract to remove other potentially harmful particles", the USGS says. And with new fissures opening closer to the edge of the plant, residents are getting even more anxious.

The pant sits on the edge of Leilani Estates, one of the areas where almost 2,000 residents have been forced to evacuate as Kilauea spewed lava.

The plant, which is owned by Ormat Technologies of Reno, Nevada, is across a highway from where lava has been erupting.

Hawaii County authorities advised residents on the Big Island through a text message to monitor their sensitivity to increased levels of SO2, a toxic gas.

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Steaming cracks in the ground, the first sign a fissure may be opening, closed roads in areas to the northeast and southwest of Leilani Estates where scientists believe the next lava geysers may appear.

South of Leilani Estates, in the Kalapana-Seaview neighborhood, residents are on high alert as the air quality is low and there are very few ways out of the area if an evacuation is ordered.

The Hawaii Volcanoes National Park around the summit was closed to visitors on Thursday, given risks of the first explosive eruptions in almost a century. And with new fissures are opening closer to the edge of the plant, residents are getting even more anxious.

Scientists say activity from the most recent lava fissure that opened up has paused but risky fumes continue to be released.

Increased levels of sulfur dioxide gas could give rise to acid rain, though experts say it won't be unsafe.

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Scientists on the Big Island of Hawaii on Friday underscored their recent statements that the oozing magma, which has so far destroyed dozens of homes and forced thousands of people on the Big Island of Hawaii to evacuate, may not be as big a threat as the destructive lava flows that could soon hit the island. Hotspots include either lava flows or new fissures, which show up as yellow to the ASTER.

The small, aptly named town of Volcano, Hawaii, population 2,500, is about three miles from the summit. I came here 27 years ago I knew the volcano was capable of producing an ash eruption. but I never thought that I would see the day and here we are.

This eruption could occur even the volcano continues to splatter and ooze lava out of its eastern flank into a residential area.

For example, she pointed to the fact there are two eruptions points around the volcano, where magma has a free path to rise to the surface.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige said crews at a geothermal energy plant near the lava outbreak were accelerating the removal of stored flammable gas as a precaution.

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  • Ryan Wade