Tuesday, 14 August, 2018

Large steam explosion at Hawaii's Kilauea volcano following eruption

Hawaii volcano red cross emergency advice GettyHawaii volcano What should you do if caught up in a volcanic eruption
Faye Gross | 10 May, 2018, 12:30

There were about 1,700 residents in Leilani Estates and a few hundred in Lanipuna Gardens before last week.

Ash and boulders could fall across a wide swath of the park and winds could carry debris across an even wider area of land.

"If the lava continues to recede we may move into a period of these steam-driven explosions", she said of chances of explosive eruptions in the crater if water begins to mix with magma.

Kilauea has been in a state of almost constant eruption for 35 years. The groundwater interacts with the hot rock, and steam pressure builds and can cause explosions.

The USGS warned that more violent eruptions at the crater could begin mid-May, shooting rocks weighing several tons for over half a mile (1 km), hurling pebble-sized projectiles several miles and dusting areas up 20 miles (32 km) away with ash.

Sulfur Dioxide, a colorless toxic gas, is usually released as the magma rises to the surface.

Those fumes are called "vog" - or volcanic fog.

Officials warn that lava could flow downhill and burn areas that don't now face danger and that toxic volcanic gas could kill people, especially the elderly and those with breathing problems.

Like choking on rotten eggs, fumes.

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Kilauea, Hawaii's most active volcano, erupted last week and a powerful natural disaster shook the crater the next day.

At a Wednesday evening press conference, Hawaii Gov. David Ige reported that a geothermal energy plant is quickening its removal of stored flammable gas. The plant, which is owned by Ormat Technologies of Reno, Nevada, is across the highway from where lava has been erupting. He says it would be "very hazardous" if a volcanic vent were to open under the facility where the fuel is stored.

Officials expect to finish removing the gas by Thursday. But some had ignored the order and stayed to watch over their property.

Hawaii County Civil Defense says a 15th volcanic vent opened on Wednesday. There was no sign of holdouts in Lanipuna afterward, he said. These hot spots are the newly formed fissures and new lava flow as of May 6.

The new eruptions brought to 14 the number of vents that have opened since Kilauea started spraying fountains of lava as high as 90m into the air. Lava from the Kilauea eruption has gobbled up streets, cars and homes, with at least 36 structures destroyed so far. In the first image, the red areas are vegetation, and the black and gray areas are old lava flows.

Kelena Kealoha fled the California wildfires for his dream home in Hawaii. "We don't know what's going on underground". "I've never experienced lava consuming all of my possessions before. I mean there is every emotion under the sun that you can think of that happens in times of crisis like we are having".

"I'm in my truck right now on my way up the road", he said. "Whether we lose our home or not, we'll see".

Scientists believe that another big eruption is looming and it does not look like volcanic activities will end anytime soon.

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