Monday, 17 December, 2018

Hawaii Kilauea volcano could soon explode in once-in-a-century eruption

NASA Captures Images Of Kilauea Volcano Spewing Gas And Lava In Hawaii Hawaiians alerted to rising risks of toxic gas, lava bursting from ground
Ellis Copeland | 11 May, 2018, 20:59

Scientists are now warning of the possibility of a violent eruption caused by trapped steam.

These plagues sound nearly biblical in their frequency and fury. "There are a lot of hazards that go with ashfall, but they can be dealt with".

Fourteen vents have opened since the current lava breakout began.

Just this Wednesday, there was an explosion that sent a huge column of ash above the crater.

In coming weeks, the summit crater could eject blocks up to 2 yards in diameter a little less than a mile away, the United States Geological Survey said. At the moment, that lake of super-hot molten rock is dropping. The heavy clouds of smoke coming from the main crater on Wednesday were likely triggered by a rock fall from the crater walls. That triggered Wednesday's explosion, the USGS says. However, earthquakes continue and additional fissure outbreaks are expected. But bigger blasts could be in store. "Groundwater can mix with the magma and it will produce steam, and that can result in steam explosions".

How it impacts people: If there's enough of it, it could make daytime seem like night. However the ashfall could prove problematic.

This event could occur again when the lava lake drops so low that groundwater is able to flow into the conduit that feeds magma to the summit crater. Those would be trouble. The nationwide park across the volcano introduced that it will shut indefinitely beginning 10 p.m. Thursday due to the dangers. One of the nearest communities, creatively named Volcano, and its roughly 2,000 people are about three miles from the summit.

Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park is now closed until further notice.

There's also potential for ash, steam and sulfur dioxide emissions.

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The amount of acid rain depends on the concentration of sulfur dioxide in the air, Guy said.

A quake last Friday was measured at magnitude 6.9, the most powerful to hit the islands since 1975.

"However, there is great uncertainty at this point how ... big a risk acid rain is at this time", he said.

Such droplets turn into sulfuric acid, and have the corrosive properties of diluted battery acid. But much is still unknown about vog's composition and specifics on how it can affect health.

"For people with asthma and other respiratory problems, the effects are much more serious, causing a tightening of the airways in the lungs and making it very hard to breathe", the university said.

But it adds: "There's been no clear evidence that vog causes lingering damage to normally healthy individuals".

"Walking in acid rain, or even swimming in a lake affected by acid rain, is no more unsafe to humans than walking in normal rain or swimming in non-acidic lakes", the EPA says.

But acid rain can contaminate household water supplies by leaching metals from building and plumbing materials, the USGS says. "It can disrupt water catchment systems, and if it falls on road and it's wet, the roads can be slippery". There's no signs of that abating. Fifteen of the vents are now spread through the Leilani Estates and neighboring Lanipuna Gardens neighborhoods. There was no evidence of volcanic activity at midday Thursday.

The pant sits on the edge of Leilani Estates, one of the areas where almost 2,000 residents have been forced to evacuate as Kilauea spewed lava. At least 36 structures have been destroyed.

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