Chesapeake firefighters working with Hawaiian locals dealing with the Kilauea Volcano

Posted at 1:25 PM, Jul 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-02 16:24:13-04

Photo provided by the Chesapeake Fire Department.

CHESAPEAKE, Va. – Four members of Chesapeake Fire Department’s hazmat team are working with the Hawaii County Civil Defense at the Kilauea Volcano.

The four members of the department are Capt. P. Gorski, Firefighter M. Tamayo, Senior Firefighter B. Turner and Firefighter J. Giles, They are all trained hazmat specialist.

Their responsibilities in Hawaii have included atmospheric monitoring and safety, said department officials.

Kilauea has been erupting on and off for centuries, according to the US Geological Survey.

The most recent eruption has ripped dozens of fissures in the Earth’s surface, allowing lava and dangerous gasses to escape. The most prominent is fissure 8, which is spewing out lava that runs in a channel from Leilani Estates to the ocean.

The report said that lava is flowing out of fissure 8 at an estimated rate of 100 cubic meters per second and shows no signs of waning pressure.

‘If the ongoing eruption maintains its current style of activity at a high eruption rate, then it may take months to a year or two to wind down,” it said. “While this seems to be the most likely outcome, a pause in the eruption, followed by additional activity, cannot be ruled out, nor can an abrupt cessation or a transition to steady, longer-lived activity at a lower effusion rate.”

The Hawaii Volcano Observatory gave the report to the Hawaii County Civil Defense to help them prepare for possible threats from the eruption.

It said that a breach in the current channel could divert the lava in a new direction and put other areas at risk.

“The main hazard from the source cone and the channel system is a failure of the cone or channel walls or blockage of the channel where it divides in narrower braids. Either could divert most, if not all, of the lava to a new course depending on where the breach occurs,” the report said.

The report focused on threats to areas north of the current lava flow because they have not been evacuated.