Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano continues to erupt, oozing lava that is causing even more property damage and personal heartbreak for hundreds of families.

Mounting property losses were reported a day after five or six people who initially chose to stay in the newly evacuated Kapoho area after road access was cut off were rescued by helicopter, according to the Hawaii County Civil Defense agency.

All but a few of the estimated 500 inhabitants of Kapoho and adjacent Vacationland development are now believed to have fled their homes, an agency spokesman said. The area lies near the site of a seaside village buried in lava from a 1960 eruption.

Legal Insurrection readers may recall my review of different lava chemistries and why Kilauea would not erupt as explosively as something like the more infamous Mt. St. Helens. However, one volcano in Guatemala had the right mix for an explosive release, and now over 60 people have died during its eruption this Sunday.

Guatemala’s most violent volcanic eruption in more than 100 years sent lava flowing into rural communities Monday, leaving at least 65 people dead. The eruption left emergency personnel scrambling to rescue those in the surrounding area.

The bodies of those who died in the Volcan de Fuego, or “Volcano of Fire,” were recovered after Sunday’s eruption. Only 13 of those who were found have been identified.

At least 46 others were injured, and authorities said the death toll could rise with the number of people unaccounted for.

This type of volcano ends is eruption cycle quickly, after emitting a deadly mixture of ash and hot gas.

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.

…Jorge Luis Altuve, part of Guatemala’s mountain rescue brigade, told the BBC how he and his colleagues had been up on the mountain searching for a missing person when they realised that the volcano’s activity had suddenly increased.

He heard something hitting his safety helmet and realised that it was not rain that was falling but stones.

“We’d already started our descent… when the ash cloud reached us and day turned into night. From daylight it went to being as dark as at 10pm,” he said.


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.