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

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

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

The unique images allow scientists to track lava moment as well as the direction that sulfur dioxide is drifting as one of the world's most active volcanoes continues to change.

Due to the anticipated steam-induced explosion at the summit of Kīlauea caused by the receding lava lake, and the possibility of a rock and ash fall event, the majority of the park is closed until further notice. The magma would heat the water and create steam that would push accumulated rocks out in an explosion.

Hawaii Volcano Observatory scientist Tina Neal says communities a mile or two away may be showered by pea-sized fragments or dusted with nontoxic ash.

Geologists warn that Kilauea could shoot out large boulders and ash out of its summit crater.

Already, the volcano has been experiencing small explosions.

Kilauea has a history of phreatomagmatic explosions.

The USGS reports that similar explosions are likely to happen again, especially after magma migrates into the rift zones on the volcano's flanks, which seems to be occurring now. It threw boulders as heavy as 12½ tonnes into the sky.

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In little more than a week, the top of the lava lake has gone from spilling over the crater to nearly 970 feet (295 meters) below the surface as of Thursday morning, Mandeville said. But George Szigeti noted that the Big Island is "immense" and there are large parts of the island unaffected by the volcano.

"My equivalent of this - and I'm from South Florida where we have hurricanes - is driving quite literally into a hurricane", she said. "It's one of the best ways we can "see" what's going on".

More destructive lava flows could soon hit Hawaii's Big Island as the Kilauea volcano erupts, posing a greater threat than oozing magma that has so far destroyed dozens of homes and forced thousands to flee.

Janet Coney, office manager of the Kilauea Lodge, an inn and restaurant, said officials told her lodge employees probably won't have to worry about rocks raining down on them but might experience falling ash.

Residents of Kona on the west of the island have complained of volcanic smog, or vog, from the large amounts of sulphur dioxide and other pollutants spewing from Kilauea.

People should also be cautious around the water: once lava interacts with saltwater, it produces hydrochloric acid, which is toxic.

For example, she pointed to the fact there are two eruptions points around the volcano, where magma has a free path to rise to the surface. The Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency said a new fissure had opened near the Kilauea volcano, bringing the total number of vents in the area to 15.

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