Kilauea eruptions being compared to 1955 event that went on for months

Geologists are comparing last weeks eruption to 1955's eruption, which isn't good
Published: May. 2, 2018 at 8:41 PM HST|Updated: May. 9, 2018 at 12:41 PM HST
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(Image: U.S. Department of Agriculture archives)
(Image: U.S. Department of Agriculture archives)

PUNA, BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - Geologists have compared the eruptions in Puna that are cutting through the Leilani Estates subdivision to an eruption in 1955.

And that could signal big trouble.

Jim Kauahikaua, a research geophysicist at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said that the 1955 eruption caused coastal community evacuations from Kalapana to Kapoho. "Sections of every public road to the coastline were buried by lava," Kauahikaua said.

The eruption, which opened 24 separate volcanic vents, lasted three months until its abrupt ending in May of 1955.

Almost 4,000 acres of land were covered in lava as a result.

The eruption in Leilani Estates started Thursday afternoon, and authorities say dozens of structures have been destroyed.

This story will be updated.

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