Updated: 7/19/2018 6:07:55 AM
"What we are observing now is unprecedented in the past 200 years in terms of size and scale, but not in terms of process," Hawaiian Volcano Observatory deputy scientist-in-charge Steve Brantley said. "This has occurred before, particularly during the 19th century when there were multiple collapses of the summit area and eruptions down in the East Rift Zone. At least one large in 1840."
"This is also the largest sequence of collapse events that we've observed in the past 200 years," he said.
In the lower East Rift zone, this is the most voluminous eruption in the past 200 years. "It is the highest eruption rate that we've measured for Kilauea and is many many times larger or higher than the eruption rate for Puʻu ʻŌʻō and that's why there is so much darn lava pouring across the ground every day, every week."
Updated: 6/8/2018 1:20:04 PM
The number of homes destroyed by lava has reached 600 since Kilauea started erupting on May 3, 2018, marking its most destructive eruption in modern times and the most destructive in the United States since the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens.
Updated: 5/29/2018 11:40:21 AM
High sulfur dioxide emissions and other gasses and particles released during ongoing eruption of Hawaiian Kilauea volcano have reached Micronesia, some 4 000 km west of the volcano, forcing authorities to issue health alerts.
Residents with respiratory health problems should stay indoors and avoid being outdoors when haze is seen and pilots and mariners need to be aware of lower visibilities caused by this haze, meteorologists said.
Winds are expected to continue bringing haze into the Marianas over the next couple of days. However, a through in the Central Pacific is expected to redirect haze farther to the north later this week thus reducing it the Marianas.
With the possibility that Kilauea may remain in a heightened state of activity, additional haze events are possible in subsequent weeks.
Updated: 5/27/2018 7:46:44 AM
U.S. Marine Helicopters are ready to evacuate residents of Hawaiian Big Island as lava flows stream into the ocean and molten rock and huge cracks threaten to block their final escape route. Some 2 000 people have faced mandatory evacuations while another 2 000 may be forced to leave is State Highway 130 becomes blocked.
Published Saturday, May 26, 2018
The moderate-level eruption of lava continues from multiple points along the central and northeast end of the active fissure system. Volcanic gas emissions have tripled as a result of the voluminous eruptions from the erupting fissures so SO2 concentrations are likely elevated to higher levels throughout the area downwind of the vents. Residents in lower Puna should remain informed and heed Hawaii County Civil Defense closures, warnings, and messages.
Fissure 6 through 22 continued erupting lava fountains on May 23 and 24, 2018.
The fountains from Fissure 22 feed a single lava channel that reaches the coast just north of MacKenzie State Park. The actual point of entry has continued shifting to the west.
Fountains erupted from Fissures 5, 6, 13, and 19 continued to feed a lava flow advancing to the south along the west side of the Fissure 22 flows and may reach the ocean in the hours ahead.
Fissure 17 continues weak spattering, Fissure 8 reactivated briefly yesterday morning to erupt two small pahoehoe flows over the initial `a`a flow.
Volcanic gas emissions have tripled as a result of the voluminous eruptions from the erupting fissures so SO2 concentrations are likely elevated to higher levels throughout the area downwind of the vents. Moderate trade winds mean that areas downwind of Kilauea gas emission sources may experience varying levels of vog.
A blue burning flame of methane gas was observed in the cracks on Kahukai Street on May 23. When lava buries plants and shrubs, methane gas is produced as a byproduct of burning vegetation. Methane gas can seep into subsurface voids and explode when heated, or as shown in the video below, emerge from cracks in the ground several feet away from the lava. When ignited, the methane produces a blue flame.
The ocean entry is a hazardous area.
Hazards include walking on uneven, glassy lava flow surfaces and around unstable, vertical sea cliffs. Venturing too close to an ocean entry on land or the ocean exposes you to flying debris from sudden explosive interaction between lava and water. Also, the lava delta is unstable because it is built on unconsolidated lava fragments and sand. This loose material can easily be eroded away by surf, causing the new land to become unsupported and slide into the sea. In several instances, such collapses have also incorporated parts of the older sea cliff. Additionally, the interaction of lava with the ocean creates "laze", a corrosive seawater plume laden with hydrochloric acid and fine volcanic particles that can irritate the skin, eyes, and lungs.
Multiple small eruptions of ash occurred over the past day, all ejecting ash to under 3 km above sea level. One of the largest occurred about 10:30 HST, May 23. Additional explosions are possible at any time.
Seismic levels, which abruptly decreased after the recent explosive eruptions, are again slowly increasing.
Kilauea volcano eruption Facts
Affected Area: 1 km.
Alert Level: Orange
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