Kilauea Volcanic ash, Hawaii

The students have given final exams as they have sat on bleachers or on the floor of the basketball court in the gym which is in a small town on Hawaii’s Big Island.  

He has moved his class to the community of Pahala’s gym after the students complained that they could no longer stand in the volcanic ash which covers his classroom floor, desks, and chairs. He said on Wednesday, “I decided today I’m not going back to my classroom for the rest of the year.”

During the explosion that has occurred at Kilauea’s summit, ash has shoots high up in the sky, and it drifts down onto the small, rural campus and nearby areas. Kau High and Pahala Elementary School have been flooded with grey, gritty ash which was coming out of Kilauea mountain which is about 20 miles away. The sweeper of the school sweeps the floor at a regular interval, but it is of no use. The ash dust has left the green tennis court look like grey. He said, “It keeps blowing around in the wind. It’s like we’re fighting a losing battle. We keep wiping and wiping.”

The ash is now said to be the new member of the town which was earlier battling with toxic fumes that come from the summit and eruption vents. Pahala is situated near the Southern end of the island, and it needed to be evacuated after lava has started to spew from the cracks in the ground which is about three weeks ago. The officials of the school are constantly monitoring the quality of the air and students are kept indoors on Wednesday morning when emission of Sulphur dioxide is very high.

The officials of school have handed out ash-filtering masks, and there is also a safe room which has air conditioning system for the students and faculty. They go inside that room when it is hard to breathe.


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