Hawaii Kilauea Volcano: Trump Approves Disaster Assistance to Those Who Lost Homes

Clay Curtis
June 17, 2018

Lava from the volcano has destroyed 467 homes.

Friday marked the fifth day in a row with an natural disaster above a magnitude of 5.0 at the summit.

The eruption stands as the most destructive in the United States since at least the violent 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens in Washington state, according to geologist Scott Rowland, a volcanologist at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

The latest flows of lava are said to be expansive and thick.

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An alert issued Thursday evening said the activity from the volcano hadn't changed much and that Fissure 8 was still producing a "large channelized flow" spreading all the way to the ocean.

Fissure 16 is oozing lava, the observatory said, and is being monitored closely. The month-long eruption now covers more than 5,900-acres, a little more than nine square miles.

Either tally marks the greatest number of homes claimed over such a short period by Kilauea - or by any other volcano in Hawaii's modern history - far surpassing the 215 structures consumed by lava in an earlier eruption cycle that began in 1983 and continued almost nonstop for three decades, experts say. A small ash plume, caused by the Kilauea summit ash eruption, reached 9,000 to 10,000 feet high and affected surrounding areas.

It took just one day for President Donald J. Trump to approve the request and grant the individual assistance. Winds are expected to continue to bring vog to the central, southern and western parts of Hawaii Island.

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