First major injury caused by lava from the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii
The Kilauea volcano has been erupting for over two weeks, spewing lava and exploding with gas and ash on Hawaii’s Big Island. It has destroyed many houses and forced the inhabitants to escape.
Officials have also distributed facemasks so that people can shield themselves from the ash particles in the air that are a result of the plumes of steam shooting up from the volcano’s summit.
The lava flows on the island have become intense since Kilauea erupted, and has resulted in a fatal incident; a man hit by a spattering molten rock. Janet Snyder, Hawaii County mayor’s spokeswoman told Hawaii News Now TV that the lava “hit him on the shin, and shattered everything from there down on his leg.”
Officials said, that the lava flying through the air from cracks in the earth can be very heavy and can cause serious damage.
The Hawaii County Civil Defense agency pointed out another danger, the lava flowed across a highway and into the ocean which sent steam and hydrochloric acid with fine glass particles into the air, this process can lead to skin and eye irritation, and lung damage. It has been reported that the highway has been shut down in some areas, and inhabitants have been evacuated.
It is hard to tell if the lava flows will stop or keep flowing at this time. Tom Shea, a volcanologist at the University of Hawaii said, “We have no way of knowing whether this is really the beginning or toward the end of this eruption, we’re kind of all right now in this world of uncertainty.”