tiptrot.com July 17, 2018

Hawaii's Massive Volcano Eruption Has No End in Sight

12 May 2018, 04:19 | Bernice Figueroa

Hawaii's Massive Volcano Eruption Has No End in Sight

At KÄ«lauea when the lava column drops below the water table groundwater may come into contact with with magma or hot rocks causing violent steam explosions

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

Rachel Smigelski-Theiss is among those who have shifted gears.

If it does erupt in an explosive way, Kilauea could hurl ash and boulders the size of refrigerators miles into the air. Now they've cancelled their trip.

"These relatively low altitudes mean that the ash and sulfur dioxide remained near the ground, which can cause health issues for people on the island downwind of the eruption", they added.

"In 1988, the drinking water of almost 40% of homes using such systems in the Kona Districts of the island was found to be contaminated with lead leached by acid rain", the USGS said.

Hawaii officials have had a busy month pleading with travelers to keep their plans even as dramatic images of natural disasters afflicting the islands have bombarded televisions and social media feeds. The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory confirmed Wednesday that a new fissure appeared in Lanipuna Gardens, which is adjacent to Leilani Estates.

Since the quake, there have been frequent aftershocks. The lava levels in the lake are dropping because lava is spewing out of cracks elsewhere in the mountain, lowering the pressure that filled the lava lake.

More than 1,700 Hawaii residents have had to flee their homes in the wake of the volcanic activity, which has destroyed dozens of homes in the Lailani Estates subdivision. "If that happens, we're into a whole different situation", said U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologist Janet Babb. Volcano and other nearby communities may be showered by pea-sized fragments or dusted with nontoxic ash but they aren't expected to get hit by large boulders, she said.

What might occur is just not an eruption of volcanic gases however largely trapped steam from flash-heated groundwater launched like in a kitchen stress cooker, with rocks, mentioned volcanologist Janine Krippner of Harmony College in West Virginia.

A total of 15 new fissures have appeared on Hawaii's Big Island since the eruption began. The volcano park closed indefinitely Thursday night because of the risks.

Officials say they aren't expecting a possible explosive volcano eruption to be life-threatening as long as people stay out of a surrounding Hawaii national park that's preparing to close.

Workers are moving the fuel to an industrial park about 30 miles (48.2 kilometers) away.

Mathew Devlen, an American film maker visiting Hawaii as a tourist, said he was awed by it all. "We know it's a possibility, and we're going to err on the side of caution to be prepared for this".

The largest explosion may have taken place on May 18, 1924; a number of people were near Halemaumau when it happened, and one was killed by falling debris.

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

"Because of the unexpected darkness during daylight hours ... and the sometimes strong smell of sulfur during an ashfall, many people describe the experience as eerie and frightening, disorienting and confusing, or terrible", the USGS says.

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