Volcano explosively erupts in Hawaii

18 May, 2018, 13:50 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Hawaii's Kilauea volcano eruption launches plume of ash 9100 metres into the sky

And an ensuing one could be even larger than today's eruption.

That rock was hurled from the volcano's Overlook crater and landed in an ash-covered parking lot.

Scientists have been expecting the ongoing eruptions of lava on the Big Island to lead to a big explosion from the summit of Kilauea volcano.

The summit caldera accommodates a lava lake generally known as Halema'uma'u that's stated to be the house of the Hawaiian volcano goddess, Pele.

FAA spokesman Ian Gregor says the flight restriction extends an earlier limit that was up to 10,000 feet (3,048 meters). The eventual eruptions generated ash clouds more than five miles (8 km) high and threw blocks weighing as much as 28,000 pounds (12,700 kg) out of the crater.

As the molten rock dropped below the level of the water table, it's likely that water in the surrounding rock began pouring into the vacated chamber - much the way water rushes to fill a recently dug well, said Charlotte Rowe, a geophysicist at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

The masks do not protect against sulfur dioxide, a toxic gas that is still seeping from 21 fissures caused by volcanic activity. Authorities issued an ash advisory that lasted until noon, but did not report any other immediate risks.

Anyone with respiratory difficulties, such as asthma or emphysema, should limit exposure to the ash, Green said.

An employee of a lodge near an erupting volcano on Hawaii's Big Island worries about the impact on tourism.

More than 2,000 residents of the Big Island remain under mandatory evacuation as Kilauea continues to threaten nearby communities.

It is one of the most active in the world and has been erupting continuously, though not explosively, for more than 30 years.

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Authorities handed out nearly 18,000 masks to help residents deal with the fallout.

The crater sits within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, which has been closed since May 11 in preparation for an eruption.

The masks will be handed out from 1 p.m.to 7 p.m. Officials warn they won't protect against gases and vapors. "It's risky within a few kilometers of the top of the volcano", Self added.

Small amounts could fall in communities to the northeast, maybe as far as Hilo on the other side of the island.

Michelle Coombes said the eruption had temporarily relieved some pressure in the volcano but there may be more, larger powerful events.

Kevin Kushel, a resident of the island, said that Thursday's plume of smoke could be seen miles away.

Epic Lava tour operator John Tarson is an early-riser who was awake and says he only knew about it because an alert came in on his phone. "They didn't hear it", Ms Aton said. He described Thursday so far as a "nice rainy day".

The noxious gas, normally emitted at risky levels only from the volcano's Halemaumau Crater, was seeping at a greater rate from the fissures in Leilani Estates, a residential area of about four square miles in the Big Island's Puna district.

Volcanologist Erik Klemetti of Denison University in OH said: "It would be anybody's guess why it changed behaviour in the last few weeks as it dramatically did". Mount St. Helens last rumbled to life in 2008, but a massive eruption in 1980 killed 57 people and blew ash over a dozen states.

Dramatic photos show lava pouring into residential neighborhoods around a series of volcanic fissures that have opened.

Such observatories already exist in Hawaii, Alaska, California, Wyoming and Washington, but the legislation would upgrade and integrate the systems, expand the number of volcanoes that are monitored and create a grant program that would support research into emergency technologies.

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