The Kilauea volcano eruption that started last week has destroyed dozens of homes and prompted the evacuations of thousands, yet scientist say there is no telling when the volcanic activity will end.
Authorities have close the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park beginning Friday and “until further notice,” fearing threat of violent explosions, according to the National Park Service.
The volcanic vents on the ground that released slow-moving lava and toxic gas into island communities are still hazardous.
Also, the US Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said, no lava was reported from any of the 15 vents but “additional outbreaks of lava are likely.”
The cracks have also made roads “not accessible” and some look like they are spreading, Civil Defense Administrator Talmadge Magno told reporters.
“The 1955 and 1960 eruptions in that similar area last between 36 and 88 days, so that gives you a sense of the bounds of what is plausible,” said Tina Neal, USGS scientist-in-charge at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. “We could see more dramatic lava fountaining.”
CNN affiliate Hawaii News Now reported that volunteers are assisting about 300 evacuees who have been sleeping at emergency shelters. However, lawmakers are concerned it could take weeks or even months before they can return home.
Gov. David Ige has asked President Donald Trump to issue a disaster declaration for Hawaii, which will allow federal funds be released to help state and local efforts in Hawaii.
The estimated cost to protect residents over the next 30 days is expected to exceed $2.9 million, according to the governor’s office.