Thursday, 16 August, 2018

Hawaii Volcano Eruptions Enter 4th Week

Overlook of the Halemaʻumaʻu vent at the Kilauea summit at 6:10 a.m. Hawaii Standard Time Overlook of the Halemaʻumaʻu vent at the Kilauea summit at 6:10 a.m. Hawaii Standard Time
Charlie Simmons | 26 May, 2018, 07:25

Eerie blue flames flared from the ground on Hawaii's Big Island on Tuesday night (May 22), marking a rarely seen phenomenon that can arise during volcanic eruptions.

The lava flow does not pose any immediate threat to the plant, the US Geological Survey said Wednesday.

Lava from the Kilauea volcano has been burning through plants and shrubs, producing methane.

"This hot, corrosive gas mixture caused two deaths immediately adjacent to the coastal entry point in 2000, when seawater washed across recent and active lava flows".

The USGS shared an image on its Twitter page that compares what people imagine the lava flow to look like on the Big Island versus the actual area it's covering. Pacarro said that she was anxious the house will collapse.

The Hawaii County Civil Defense agency warned in its latest bulletin that residents downwind of Kilauea should take care to avoid exposure to ash, which can cause eye irritation and breathing difficulties, particularly in people with respiratory problems.

Despite the seemingly steady stream of hazards, officials in a state that relies heavily on tourism are reiterating a message: "Travel is safe to the Hawaiian islands".

Late on Saturday, a fast-flowing stream of lava pouring from one of the active fissures also reached Highway 137, which hugs the island's eastern coast.

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The threat of lava from fissures in the East Rift Zone on Hawaii's Big Island near Kilauea have forced almost 2,000 people - including from Leilani Estates - to leave since eruptions began almost three weeks ago. The eruption has destroyed 50 buildings, including almost two dozen homes.

Meantime, Kilauea's summit has continued to send up frequent ash emissions, with one plume rising more than 1 mile into the sky Wednesday, reports USGS. Workers stabilized 11 wells to prevent the release of uncontrolled toxic gases.

Due to frequent ash emissions at the Kilauea summit and increased sulfur dioxide emissions, residents should take action to limit exposure.

At least 44 homes and other structures have been destroyed, and a man was seriously injured on Saturday when a chunk of lava shot out of a fissure and struck him in the leg.

Officials shut down Puna Geothermal shortly after the current eruption began.

Clinton was the first to suffer a major injury because of the eruption.

Darryl Clinton told the Honolulu television station KHON that he was on the roof of a home helping to put out fires from flying rocks when an explosion a couple hundred yards away launched a "lava bomb" his way. Scientists say it can trigger explosions if ignited while trapped underground.

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