Kilauea: Hawaii emergency declared over volcano eruption
Officials had been warning residents all week they should be prepared to evacuate as an eruption would give little warning.
A volcanic crater vent – known as Puu Oo – collapsed earlier this week, sending lava down the mountain’s slopes towards populated areas.
Local resident Stephen Clapper said he had told his mother to pack a bag “just in case”, and they wasted no time getting in the car to drive to safety after the eruption.
“My neighbour came running over and said, ‘What’s that awful noise?'” Mr Clapper told local channel Khon TV. “He said he had never heard a noise like it, and he’s been here for 40 years.”
Hawaii’s Governor, David Ige, says he has activated military reservists from the National Guard to help evacuate thousands of people…
Routine natural disasters make the need for resilient communities all the more dire, health experts say.
Hurricane Harvey, which dumped trillions of gallons of water on the southern U.S., killed at least 89 people and displaced thousands more in a matter of days, held only a 0.2 percent chance of bringing its type of torrential flooding to Houston last year.
But Harvey – referred to by many as a 500-year flood event because the odds of it happening in a given year are at least 1 in 500 – was the third such major natural disaster to hit the city in as many years. And months later, Houston, the fourth-largest city in the U.S., is still grappling with the storm’s aftermath.
Harvey also wasn’t America’s only major storm last year. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, there were 16 severe weather events that each cost the U.S. $1 billion or more in 2017, ranging from wildfires in California to a tornado outbreak in the Midwest. Carrying a total price tag of $309.4 billion along with 362 deaths, 2017 was the costliest year on record for weather and climate events…