Published: Tue, May 08, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

Hawaii Volcano Insurance: Is There Such a Thing?

Hawaii Volcano Insurance: Is There Such a Thing?

A new fissure opened on Sunday night in the Leilani Estates area less than 20 kilometres from the volcano, prompting a cellphone alert for residents to leave homes to avoid sulfur dioxide gas, which can be life threatening at high levels.

Hawaii's Kilauea volcano has destroyed 26 homes since it began spewing lava hundreds of feet into the air last week, and residents who evacuated don't know how long they might be displaced.

The largest so far was a magnitude 6.9 quake that hit midday Friday in the zone of volcanic activity.

By Sunday afternoon there were ten fissures and lava had been seen leaping over 300 feet above the semi-rural wooded communities of Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens, which are in the southeast...

Authorities warned that the air quality remained troublesome and that the roads were still under very unstable conditions, and residents could be required to leave the area if conditions became more hazardous.

Experts have not been able to predict with confidence when the series of eruptions will end - with the first wave hitting the Big Island on Thursday.

The Kilauea volcano has been erupting nearly continuously since 1983, according to the US Geological Survey.

Ten fissures (cracks in the earth) have emerged since Thursday and continue to burst out lava and risky fumes in the Leilani Estates neighborhood.

Cracks emerged in the volcano's East Rift Zone - an area of fissures miles away from the volcano's summit. "You can help tremendously by staying out of the area", the civil defence agency said in a statement. It's often expelled in large amounts during a volcanic eruption.

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In addition, a rescue worker that was involved in the rescue operation said that 68 people were wounded and 42 people were killed. The jihadist group on Thursday carried out an attack in Maiduguri, capital of neighbouring Borno state, that killed four people.

The American Red Cross opened two shelters where residents are waiting to hear information about their homes.

"That's the big concern for everybody on the island", Ferracane said Monday.

Tesha "Mirah" Montoya, 45, said the threat of toxic fumes wasn't enough to make her family evacuate, but the tipping point was the earthquakes.

Still, there's more to come. Now we're beginning to see video of the lava flows as they happened - like this one, taken by a time lapse camera on the Leilani Estates properties, according to a storm-watching social media account. Leilani Estates sits along the zone.

Montoya, her husband and daughter don't know how long they will be away from the three-story octagonal house they built almost 20 years ago in a patch of "raw jungle". If their homes are damaged by lava that causes fire, that may be covered as a fire peril under their policy.

"I felt like the whole side of our hill was going to explode", she said.

"It was a moment of panic", she said, "because the only thing I knew was, 'lava in Leilani'".

Kilauea (pronounced kill-ah-WAY'-ah), one of the world's most active volcanoes, has been erupting continuously since 1983.

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