HONOLULU (May 21, 2018) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Pacific Southwest Region continues to support efforts to analyze public health threats from volcanic gas emissions, including managing technical data and enhancing multi-agency air monitoring of the emissions. EPA’s work is part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) federal response to the Kilauea volcanic eruption on Hawaii Island.
EPA has worked with the Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) establishing 10 air monitoring station locations and continues to work with DOH and the County of Hawaii on identifying additional locations to provide data on sulfur dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, and particulate levels. The Agency will continue to evaluate data collected from the Air Now Network operated by the DOH. EPA has 16 personnel on Hawaii Island and one representative working with FEMA operations in Honolulu.
As Fox News reports:
The volcano has been generating earthquakes and spewing lava, sulfur dioxide and ash since it began erupting in Big Island backyards on May 3.
The dangers have forced at least 2,000 people to evacuate and destroyed more than 40 buildings. It’s also created anxiety for thousands of others about the possibility of lava heading their way or cutting off roads they depend on to get to work, school and grocery stores.
Fox News’ Travis Fedschun and The Associated Press contributed to this report
“Civil defence notices cautioned motorists, boaters and beachgoers to beware of caustic plumes of “laze” formed from two streams of hot lava pouring into the sea after cutting across Highway 137 on the south coast of Hawaii’s Big Island late on Saturday and early Sunday.
The bulletins also warned that reports of toxic sulphur dioxide gas being vented from various points around the volcano had tripled, urging residents to “take action necessary to limit further exposure.”
For more information, please visit the Hawaii Interagency Vog Information Dashboard which has comprehensive information and data related to vog and ash hazards and impact: https://vog.ivhhn.org.
US EPA IMAGE SOURCES