RESIDENTS of Hawaii’s Big Island have been warned of a second potential disaster and to prepare for evacuation as Hurricane Hector moves closer towards the southern portion of the island, with the area already under a state of emergency from Mount Kilauea destroying the natural landscape through an ongoing series of eruptions and earthquakes.
By JOE GAMP
Sat, Aug 4, 2018
Hurricane Hector is moving across the Pacific Ocean, whipping up winds of up to 120mph as it careens towards the state of Hawaii and the besieged Big Island.
The island has been been declared a sate of emergency since Mount Kilauea first erupted on May 3.
On Friday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said Hector was headed towards the southern coast of the Big Island.
This would put the storm on a virtual collision course with Kilauea Volcano, situated on the southern portion of the island.
The volcano is in the midst of a 3-month-old eruption of lava from vents on its eastern flank while its summit crater continues to collapse.
A series of lava fissures across the island have created channels of molten liquid that are continuing to tear apart communities on the lower east corner of Big Island since the initial eruptions took place.
In addition to threats of flooding and mudslides, volcanic gases can create acid rain when they mix with water droplets in the atmosphere.
This toxic precipitation can harm crops, drinking water and infrastructure.
Scientists differ over how hurricanes and volcanoes might interact, including the question of whether low atmospheric pressure from a major cyclone could help trigger an eruption, and much remains unknown on the subject.
The National Hurricane Centre said: “There is the potential for Hector to bring some impacts to portions of the Hawaiian Islands by the middle of next week, but it is too soon to specify the magnitude of the impacts or where they could occur.
“This is a good time for everyone in the Hawaiian Islands to ensure they have their hurricane plan in place.”
US weather agency AccuWeather state that no expected impact will occur across the weekend, but warned next week could see further impact for residents on the Hawaiian islands, including the disaster-fuelled Big Island and the tourist hotspot of Maui.
Historically, hurricanes tend to weaken before reaching Hawaiian waters. But with Hawaii still recovering from the Kilauea natural disaster, of which the aftermath is still altering the geographical landscape, the Hawaii Emergency Management team have advised locals to prepare for gale force winds and storms.