President Trump Declares Kilauea Eruption A Major Disaster

At KÄ«lauea when the lava column drops below the water table groundwater may come into contact with with magma or hot rocks causing violent steam explosions

"Federal funding is available to the state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the fix or replacement of facilities damaged by the Kilauea volcanic eruption and earthquakes in Hawaii County", FEMA said in the release.

Hawaii tourism officials are hoping Kilauea's eruption won't deter travelers from visiting the state's largest island, even as geologists warn the volcano could soon shoot large boulders out of its summit. As the magma shifted underground, a magnitude-6.9 quake also rocked the Big Island.

Scientists said the lava flow forming in the crack has been minor, but that could always change.

USGS scientist Tina Neal at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory has been posting regular video updates.

Such blasts would likely also eject plumes of volcanic ash that could be carried farther downwind into neighboring communities, creating a nuisance and potential respiratory irritant, but not a life-threatening hazard, officials said. The observatory said that 15 fissures, which have emerged since May 3, have not produced any lava since Wednesday.

At least 36 buildings have been destroyed and 2,000 evacuated, while on Friday lava was reported to be covering a total of 200 acres.

The Kilauea volcano erupted on May 3, leaving the future of hundreds of people in Hawaii's Big Island uncertain.

The new fissure, the 17th to open since Kilauea begun erupting earlier this month, is located half a mile northeast of the end of Hinalo Road, close to the fissure 16 which opened 11 hours earlier.

Trump approved the Hawaii governor's request declaring the state a "major disaster" late Friday night ahead of warnings that continuing volcanic eruptions could cause huge damage to the islands and its residents. About 2,000 people have been evacuated.

Additional funds are needed to address the permanent damage the volcanic activity and earthquakes have caused, he added.

The danger comes from the lava level that is dropping inside the volcano.

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