Wednesday, 15 August, 2018

Explosive eruption at Hawaii volcano

WEATHER
               Some Hawaii residents leave as Kilauea spews ash        The Latest on the summit eruption of Kilauea volcano on Hawaii's Big Island WEATHER Some Hawaii residents leave as Kilauea spews ash The Latest on the summit eruption of Kilauea volcano on Hawaii's Big Island
Lisa Bryan | 18 May, 2018, 15:46

Across the Big Island, home to 200,000 residents, people were encouraged to avoid driving in ashfall areas, as the powdered rock makes roads slippery, and not go outdoors unless necessary.

"We had prepared for the event", he said.

In the Hawaii Volcano Observatory, a webcam caught the consequences of the short-lived eruption: an onslaught of wet, dusty ash raining on a darkened landscape.

Large amounts of lava are still spewing out of Hawaii's Kilauea volcano some 14 hours after a big eruption on Thursday morning.

News coverage of the Big Island events have been pretty balanced, Tolentino said, but noted that inaccuracies have not helped, especially when a national news outlet reported Oahu residents were forced to evacuate. Ash plumes on Tuesday had spouted as high as 12,000 feet (3,657 meters) into the air, scientists said. Broadcasting on local radio stations, Hawaii Civil Defense officials warned that ash poses the main health threat from the eruption.

The USGS said, Depending on weather conditions, that the ash might fall as far as Hilo, 30 miles to the northeast.

An animated GIF the USGS tweeted out shows how far the ash cloud might travel.


"I would like to also remind the rest of the world as well as the rest of the state, Hawaii Island continues to be open for business", he said. Michael O'Meally, 23, who lives in Aiea and works in sales in Waikiki, said a friend who works at a Ko Olina resort told him she has fielded several calls from concerned guests.

This is because Kilauea is a so-called shield volcano, which is typically broader in shape and has lava that is relatively fluid. "Such an eruption could happen suddenly and send volcanic ash 20,000 feet into the air, threatening communities for miles", the US Geological Survey said.

It is among the five volcanoes that form the Big Island, and it is the only one actively erupting. Mr Poland said the explosion probably only lasted a few minutes.

What is happening at Kīlauea is fundamentally different from that 1980 eruption, experts said.

Geologists say the latest eruptions are being caused by lava levels substantially draining at the summit.

Kilauea's falling lava lake has likely descended to a level at or below the water table, allowing water to run on to the top of its lava column and create steam-driven blasts, they said.

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