A new volcano on the shores of a remote island off the coast of Hawaii has erupted again, raising questions about the fate of the island’s tourism industry and raising fears of a repeat of a deadly eruption that killed more than 1,000 people in 2006.
David Ige announced Monday that the volcano has been inactive since it erupted on Dec. 8, which has fueled concerns about the future of the tourism industry.
The state has no power or water and has no sewage system, so the eruption is causing serious environmental and safety concerns, Ige said.
The eruption was triggered by the eruption of a large, dormant volcano in Hawaii’s easternmost section of the country, where a nearby volcano was also active at the time.
“This is the third major eruption on the island, and the third in less than a year,” Ige told a news conference.
State officials say the eruption, the third this year on the remote Hawaiian island of Hatteras, was caused by a massive magma plume, which blew into the air and into the water, creating a plume of ash that reached the island.
More than 150 people were killed by the lava-spewing eruption.
In July, a volcano in South Korea spewed more than 2.5 million gallons of water onto the sea and set off an eruption that sent ash raining down on nearby islands.
Scientists are unsure why the Hatterases island eruption has occurred, but the state’s chief environmental officer, Mark Paine, told AP that scientists were unsure whether the eruption was related to a larger eruption of an underground magma chamber on the east side of the volcano.
Paine said he was unaware of a second eruption on Hatterase, but added that he was concerned about the impact on the tourism sector.
Several local businesses have closed in the aftermath of the eruption.
The mayor of the nearby town of Waimanalo said on Facebook that he had asked the city council to cancel all tours until after the eruption stopped, but that he did not have any answers.