Hawaii volcano in oahu, eruptions seem close — and far away electricity in water

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For some Oahu residents, following the coverage of Kilauea’s latest eruptive episode is similar to monitoring severe weather across the continental U.S. — both spectacular and heartbreaking, but still far, far away. Yet for others, the explosions at Halemaumau Crater and multiple fissures and lava flows in Leilani Estates hit close to home — even if ocean and islands separate them.

The eruptions that began May 3 in Leilani Estates, a rural neighborhood about 35 miles from Hilo, have destroyed 36 structures and forced evacuations of nearly 2,000 people. The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reported Thursday that an explosive eruption at Kilauea’s summit in the early morning hours spewed ash 30,000 feet high in the air and covered the surrounding area. They advised residents to shelter in place and warned of dangerous driving conditions due to poor visibility.

Tolentino monitors eruption updates through news alerts on his phone, TV and online. He’s concerned ash could drift from the Big Island and affect his asthmatic relatives, including his father, or that earthquakes from the volcanic activity could trigger a tsunami.

News coverage of the Big Island events have been pretty balanced, Tolentino said, but noted that inaccuracies have not helped, especially when a national news outlet reported Oahu residents were forced to evacuate. Tolentino, an attorney, said the devastation on the state’s southernmost island is “a spectacular event, but it doesn’t affect my life on a daily basis.”

Robyn Jumawan, who runs the nonprofit Pearlside Boxing and Fitness with her husband in West Oahu, lived on the west side of Big Island from 1994 to 2005, far from the active volcano. She has been praying for her friends who still live there while letting her friends on the mainland know she’s not in harm’s way.

“We checked with several industry partners on Oahu and were told the volcanic activity on the Island of Hawaii has had no discernible negative impact on bookings,” George Szigeti, president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority, told USA TODAY. “In fact, one travel trade partner reported an increase in Oahu bookings this week.”

For some Oahu residents, following the coverage of Kilauea’s latest eruptive episode is similar to monitoring severe weather across the continental U.S. — both spectacular and heartbreaking, but still far, far away. Yet for others, the explosions at Halemaumau Crater and multiple fissures and lava flows in Leilani Estates hit close to home — even if ocean and islands separate them.

The eruptions that began May 3 in Leilani Estates, a rural neighborhood about 35 miles from Hilo, have destroyed 36 structures and forced evacuations of nearly 2,000 people. The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reported Thursday that an explosive eruption at Kilauea’s summit in the early morning hours spewed ash 30,000 feet high in the air and covered the surrounding area. They advised residents to shelter in place and warned of dangerous driving conditions due to poor visibility.

Tolentino monitors eruption updates through news alerts on his phone, TV and online. He’s concerned ash could drift from the Big Island and affect his asthmatic relatives, including his father, or that earthquakes from the volcanic activity could trigger a tsunami.

News coverage of the Big Island events have been pretty balanced, Tolentino said, but noted that inaccuracies have not helped, especially when a national news outlet reported Oahu residents were forced to evacuate. Tolentino, an attorney, said the devastation on the state’s southernmost island is “a spectacular event, but it doesn’t affect my life on a daily basis.”

Robyn Jumawan, who runs the nonprofit Pearlside Boxing and Fitness with her husband in West Oahu, lived on the west side of Big Island from 1994 to 2005, far from the active volcano. She has been praying for her friends who still live there while letting her friends on the mainland know she’s not in harm’s way.

“We checked with several industry partners on Oahu and were told the volcanic activity on the Island of Hawaii has had no discernible negative impact on bookings,” George Szigeti, president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority, told USA TODAY. “In fact, one travel trade partner reported an increase in Oahu bookings this week.”