Saturday, 22 September, 2018

Scientists in Hawaii warn of more eruptions from Kiluaea

USGS scientists Larry Mastin and Liz Westby monitor the Kilauea eruption from the Cascades Volcano Observatory in Vancouver Washington USGS scientists Larry Mastin and Liz Westby monitor the Kilauea eruption from the Cascades Volcano Observatory in Vancouver Washington. Molly Solomon
Ellis Copeland | 18 May, 2018, 15:06

A spike in toxic sulphur dioxide gas closed schools around the village of Pahoa, 40 km east of the volcano, where fissures have destroyed 37 homes and other structures and forced about 2000 residents to evacuate, health officials said.

Kilauea's falling lava lake has likely descended to a level at or below the water table, allowing water to run on to the top of its lava column and create steam-driven blasts, they said. Residents say the haze across the area is so thick it resembles fog, with visibility extremely low in some areas. Residents were asked to take to take shelter in place if they found themselves in the path of the plume anyway.

Mr Grange said the best thing to do is to "get out of Dodge" in an area where sulfur dioxide levels are at condition red.

In the Hawaii Volcano Observatory, a webcam caught the consequences of the short-lived eruption: an onslaught of wet, dusty ash raining on a darkened landscape.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) said on Thursday that the Kilauea volcano on the Big Island erupted from its summit shortly after 4 a.m. local time.

Lava continues to spatter from one of the most active volcanic fissures, though the activity has slowed over the last two days.

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As people could be seen, in the distance, standing in amazement as the ash plumes rose into the sky from the Kilauea volcano, a couple of golfers were pictured mid-round at the Volcano Golf & Country Club, located within Volcanoes National Park.

It was not the big blast scientists have been warning could come from the crater any time, and that threat - of an explosion that could produce flying boulders the size of cows - remained unchanged late Thursday. Eye and respiratory irritants with low-level impacts for most people.

Though disruptive, even painful for people living near Kīlauea - especially those who have already lost their homes - the eruption will not significantly affect life on the rest of the Big Island, Poland said.

Continuous ash emissions from Halemaumau crater are reaching as high as 12,000 feet. There have been no deaths or serious injuries reported during the current eruption.

"This morning it smelled like sulfur so we had to close all the windows", Ms Magnani said.

Kilauea is one of the world's most active volcanoes.

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