Structures destroyed 82 – west hawaii today electricity jeopardy game

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The total also is a sharp increase from the previous estimated number of destroyed structures, which was at 50 Thursday afternoon. Because of increased volcanic activity in lower Puna this week, Civil Defense could not easily visually confirm destroyed structures and thus refrained from releasing updated totals until a number could be confirmed, Magno said.

The isolated structures, meanwhile, are currently still intact and not necessarily surrounded by lava, Magno said. However, roads providing access to the structures have been cut off by lava and cannot be reached by road, although Magno conceded it “wouldn’t be accurate” to assume they are all uninhabited.

The northeasterly trade winds are expected to hold throughout the weekend, said National Weather Service meteorologist Ashley Sears, sparing much of the east side of the island from sulfur dioxide emissions and vog. However, Sears said, the winds are expected to slow over the weekend, with speeds between 5 and 10 mph and a more westerly direction during nighttime hours.

Sears also said a low-pressure region approaching from the west might lead to winds shifting to the southeast and a potential pooling of vog near the fissures in the early part of next week, but added there is still some uncertainty regarding whether that will occur.

Because of the weaker winds, vog and ash might impact residents and travelers. Civil Defense advises residents to be prepared to leave an affected area quickly and for drivers to travel with extreme caution because vog can impede visibility and ash can cause adverse driving conditions.

Particulate masks will be available for the general public from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. today at mask distribution centers located at the Pahala Gymnasium and Naalehu Nutrition Center. While the masks will protect against ash, they offer no such defense against toxic gas.

Bachta on Friday said his squadron is prepared to respond to an evacuation order within an hour and has approximately 20 potential landing zones designated around lower Puna. Because the helicopters can carry approximately 12,500 pounds of passengers and luggage, evacuees are advised to bring minimal baggage.

Maj. Jeff Hickman of the Hawaii National Guard said while the Marine Corps helicopters are only deployed to Hawaii Island until Monday, changing circumstances with the volcano — for example, a major highway being cut off — could extend their mission.

While Highway 130 remains open — despite numerous cracks along its surface at mile marker 14 — the state Department of Transportation is looking into other contingencies for residents to leave lower Puna if all other roads of egress are cut off.

Sakahara said the plan, if approved, will take some time to enact because past lava flows over the road will need to be cleared. When completed, the road will be unpaved, but graded, and used as a one-way-only road: Residents will be able to use it only to leave lower Puna.

Sakahara said temperatures of up to 130 degrees have been recorded from the cracks, which is within tolerance thresholds, as the metal plate is heat resistant. In addition, Wendy Stovall of the U.S. Geological Survey said no sulfur dioxide has been detected leaving the cracks, which would otherwise be a sign of magma.

The most active fissures remain the seventh and 21st, which have generated a “broad pond” of lava that is covering previous flows in Leilani Estates. Friday evening, lava from the pond crossed Kahukai Street and was moving east. The flow made Mohala Street inaccessible, according to the county.

Sears said that as long as the ash plumes remain at less than 15,000 feet above ground level, they will continue to be blown to the southwest by the trade winds. If they rise above that threshold, however, higher wind currents could blow ash to the east.

Jessica Ferracane, spokeswoman for Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, said the park will remain closed until USGS confirms it will be safe to reopen. However, she said, guests might not be missing much. Air in the park is “chewy,” she said — a term she uses to describe the ash-choked atmosphere.

Ross Birch, executive director of the Hawaii Island Visitors Bureau, said the number of visitors to the island this year to date is trending somewhat less than at the same point last year. However, the number of visitors this month so far is a 25 percent increase compared to May 2017.

Norwegian Cruise Line, which canceled several port calls on Hawaii Island by its ship, Pride of America, during the past several weeks, has resumed docking in Kona, Birch said. The Pride of America will not dock in Hilo for the time being, however, he said.