A little over a week after Hawaii's Kilauea volcano erupted, The Big Island is now bracing for a series of explosive eruptions which could occur within days or weeks, hurling boulders the size of small cars, creating a giant ash cloud, and oozing even more of the hot magma which has already claimed at least 36 structures and forced thousands to evacuate.
Kilauea volcano Hawaii May 6 2018 pic.twitter.com/gjxzDnioTE
Geologists believe the hardest hit by the new activity will be the Leilani Estates in the southwestern Puna district, around 20 miles south of Hilo where all 1,900 residents have already been evacuated.
“We are telling people to plan for the worst. They should have a Plan A, a Plan B and a Plan C," said county official Roann Okomura, who helps operate one of the evacuation shelters.
As a lava lake at Kilauea’s summit drains inside the volcano, magma is running underground. It could burst to the surface as large, fast-moving and intensely hot lava flows and produce higher levels of toxic gases, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientist-in-charge Tina Neal said.
In addition, Kilauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes, threatens to begin a series of explosive eruptions within days or weeks that could form huge clouds of volcanic smog, or vog, and hurl boulders as big as small cars. -Reuters.
“What will take a turn for the worse in terms of hazard is if hotter, fresher magma makes it to the surface, and that could be what is coming,” Neal told a conference call on Friday. “Once a new batch of hotter, gassier magma makes it to the surface we might see larger, higher eruption rates.”
Sixteen fissures have opened up on the eastern flank of Kilauea since its initial eruption eight days ago - oozing relatively cool, slow moving magma left over from a similar incident in 1955. Scientists now worry that fresh magma from deeper within the earth is about to come surging behind it.
In other words, what's happened over the last eight days was just "cleaning out the pipes" so to speak.
KILAUEA: Fresh Lava on the Way
Kilauea's new lava comes from old magma
Sat May 12, 2018#Kilauea #Hawaii #Fire #Eruption #Volcano #BigIsland #Video #Leilaniestates #Pahoa #Breaking #Lava #LanipunaGardens #News #Latest #Update #Eruptions #Fresh@NewsKali pic.twitter.com/KSKvJtZ8Vt