Drexel University expert discusses volcanic eruption in Hawaii

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Local expert discusses volcano eruption in Hawaii. Gray Hall reports during Action News at 4pm on May 4, 2018. (WPVI)

Drexel University Science Professor Loyc Vanderkluysen is keeping a close eye on the volcano eruption in Hawaii.

He studied there and still has colleagues on the ground monitoring the situation.

Vanderkluysen says the eruption came as no surprise.

"The people that are affected by this eruption, they were put on notice a few days ago because we knew that cracks were opening, magma was moving and there was a high possibility that the magma would get all the way to the surface and the eruption would start," says professor Vanderkluysen.

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Hawaii's Kilauea eruption caused evacuations for nearby homes.



ABC news is reporting two homes on the big island of Hawaii have been destroyed by lava flow and at least 1,800 people have been ordered to evacuate.

"We were half a block away from where it was happening, but you could definitely feel the heat and power of the eruption," says one resident.

Professor Vanderkluysen says the Kilauea Volcano has been erupting continuously for about 35 years and most of the activity has been in a National Park. He says this event is getting more attention because it's near a neighborhood and people were forced to leave their homes.

The professor says it's not clear how long the activity from this eruption will last, but scientists and experts will just keep a close eye on it.

"Most of the event is actually in forested area, so to be able to monitor it, thermal cameras are a big help, and determining how fast it is advancing, how much volume is being produced every second and every minute and enter it all into computer models, so we can determine what houses and what structures are the most at risk," says Professor Vanderkluysen.

So far no injuries have been reported due to the eruption.

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