Volcano Alerts At Highest Level As Eruption Intensifies In Hawaii

16 May, 2018, 15:17 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
  • Two more fissures opened in the past 24 hours bringing the total to 19

"Yes, we are getting an extremely high volume of people who would like to go see the volcano right now".

The U.S. Geological Survey has reported almost 20 active fissures.

He said he wasn't really afraid of the destruction happening around him. Since May 2, the lava lake in the crater began to drop, which increases the chances for a phreatic explosion.

A wide angle camera view captures the entire north portion of the Overlook crater as the eruption continued at Hawaii's Kilauea volcano.

We're having continuing ash emissions from the summit crater.

The USGS changed its aviation color code for the area to red. "Continued natural disaster activity and additional outbreaks in the area are likely", the Civil Defense Agency warned in its 6 p.m. Sunday (midnight Eastern time) update.

A plume of red ash rose from the volcano's Pu'u 'O'o vent high into the sky over the island, according to photos on social media.

Ash is not poisonous but irritates the nose, eyes and airways.

Coombs said the gas is coming out of 21 fissures, or cracks in the ground, caused by the volcano.

Before-and-After Satellite Images Show Damage Caused By Lava From Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano

The Civil Defence said: "Be aware of the unpredictable nature of unsafe levels of SO2 gas because it can be carried far from the fissures with wind speed and direction".

"Severe conditions may exist such as choking and inability to breathe", the county's civil defense agency said.

Residents living near the fissure were told to evacuate, and two nearby community centers were serving as shelters for people and pets. The good news is, the lava flow advance has slowed overnight so it's moving just a few 10s of yards every hour.It's really slowed down since early yesterday. The latest fissure is by the Lanipuna Gardens.

"There's a lot of worst-case scenarios and roads getting blocked is one of them", said Hickman, standing on Highway 137, in the potential path of the lava flow, some two miles (3 km) away.

CNN's Stephanie Elam said her heart started pounding as she approached one fissure.

The gas from the volcano is also a safety and health hazard for those in the area downwind of the erupting vents.

It seems reasonable to many volcanologists-although we do not actually know what is going on underground here-to think Halema'uma'u, Pu'u 'Ō'ō and the lower east rift zone are now all connected to a single reservoir of molten basalt.

Mount St. Helens, near Portland, shocked many observers when it erupted in 1980, destroying forest in the tourists' destination for miles, the Times noted.

In addition to the threat of gas and fissures, there are concerns about what's known as phreatic eruptions.


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