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

Residents have been warned about the potential for acid rain, ash, and unsafe eruptions, and the USGS reports that activity at the summit of the volcano is elevated. "There are a lot of hazards that go with ashfall, but they can be dealt with".

What we're looking at: Kilauea has been erupting nearly continuously for years, but earthquakes and lava breakouts kicked off in the past couple of weeks.

No one lives in the immediate area of the summit.

Scientists worry Kilauea volcano could soon send boulders and ash shooting out of its summit crater.

Researchers don't know when the explosive activity will occur, how large they could be or how long they'd last. New fissures and flowing lava have caused severe damage in residential communities located near the crater. At the moment, that lake of super-hot molten rock is dropping. That triggered Wednesday's explosion, the USGS says. However, earthquakes continue and additional fissure outbreaks are expected. But bigger blasts could be in store.

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How it impacts people: If there's enough of it, it could make daytime seem like night. Scientists say a massive explosion would shut down air traffic and put people nearby in danger. However the ashfall could prove problematic.

"Once the lava level reaches the groundwater elevation, onset of continuous ashy plumes or a sequence of violent steam-driven explosions may be the first sign that activity of concern has commenced". Those would be trouble. The huge boulders could travel more than a half-mile. Hawaii hasn't seen explosive activity like that in almost a century.

Steam and gas rise from Kilauea's summit crater in Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii, Wednesday, May 9, 2018.

A summit explosion could also release ash, steam and sulfur dioxide gas.

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

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Dr. Mangan says the USGS monitors these seven sites and that at least some of them have the potential to erupt, just like the Hawaiian volcano-or possibly even worse.

"For people with asthma and other respiratory problems, the effects are much more serious, causing a tightening of the airways in the lungs and making it very hard to breathe", the university said. "However, when the pollutants that cause acid rain are in the air, they can be harmful to humans".

Scientists say lava levels in the crater are going down, meaning it might be clogging and building up for a mighty blast. "It can disrupt water catchment systems, and if it falls on road and it's wet, the roads can be slippery".

The volcano, which spread lava during the week, also threatened the geothermal power plant, the Puna Geothermal Venture plant. "And the plant could get covered by lava tomorrow".

The volcano has been spluttering lava for more than a week and has forced around 2,000 people from their homes and destroyed 36 structures, including 26 homes. If it proves successful, it can help guide responders and Civil Defense personnel to make the necessary preparations and effectively evacuate areas at risk.

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Hawaii Police said the suspect, who was identified as 29-year-old Alexandru Stingu-Dragomir, is linked to another burglary case in Leilani Estates.

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