Hawaii volcano: Donald Trump declares major disaster after Mount Kilauea eruption

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Donald Trump has declared the massive eruption of a volcano in Hawaii a major disaster.

The President's announcement will ensure federal funding will be available to supplement the recovery effort.

Governor David Ige made the request for funding on Wednesday and estimates the cost to protect residents could exceed $2.9 million (£2.1 million) in May alone.

Around 2,000 residents have been evacuated and some two dozen homes destroyed since the volcano began releasing lava from vents on May 3.

The declaration means that assistance will be made available for repairs to facilities such as roads, public parks, schools and water pipes damaged by the volcano. It also covers the cost of hiring people to create roadblocks, geologists and the military.

Mr Ige said: "I'm grateful for the quick approval of my request for a Presidential Disaster declaration.



"This opens the door to federal assistance and demonstrates a solid partnership with the federal government as we work to keep HI residents safe and support recovery on Hawaii island."

Scientists warned on Friday that magma running underground could spark a huge explosion.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientist Tina Neal said: "What will take a turn for the worst in terms of hazard is if hotter, fresher magma makes it to the surface and that could be what is coming.

"Once a new batch of hotter, gassier magma makes it to the surface we might see larger, higher eruption rates."



Earlier this week, dramatic images show the moment lava spewing from an erupting volcano engulfed a Ford Mustang.

Over time, the Ford Mustang is completely engulfed by the lava.

Fifteen large cracks or fissures have opened on the eastern side of Kilauea since the volcano erupted.

According to the Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency, no new fissures have emerged since Thursday.

www.standard.co.uk

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Weather Alert Online: Hawaii volcano: Donald Trump declares major disaster after Mount Kilauea eruption
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