Email
Password
Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article imageNew threats from Kilauea volcano as man hit with lava spatter

By Karen Graham     May 20, 2018 in World
Pahoa - A stream of lava blocked a key road on Hawaii's Big Island on Sunday that serves as an escape route for coastal residents, while the first known serious injury was reported from fresh explosive eruptions from the Kilauea volcano.
Janet Snyder, a spokesperson for the Office of the Mayor, County of Hawaii, reported the first serious injury related to the eruption of Kilauea volcano today, telling Reuters a homeowner was injured while sitting on a balcony at his home when "lava spatter" - projectile molten rock - landed on him.
"It hit him on the shin and shattered everything there down on his leg," Snyder said. "Lava spatters can weigh "as much as a refrigerator." She also warned that even small pieces of lave can kill. No other information on the man's condition has been released as of this time.
With the eruption of the world's most active volcano more than two weeks ago continuing, 22 fissures have now opened, creating havoc and worsening the uncertainty of residents. Flowing lava destroyed four more homes on Friday and Saturday, bringing the total of destroyed structures to nearly four dozen.
Activity in the lower East Rift Zone ramped up overnight and this morning. During an overflight  HVO...
Activity in the lower East Rift Zone ramped up overnight and this morning. During an overflight, HVO scientists observed a very active fissure 20. Channelized lava flows originating from a line of low fountains are moving to the east-southeast.
USGS
Two huge cracks merged molten magma into one single stream, touching off brush fires and threatening to block escape routes. The erupting lava, which can reach a blistering 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit (1,093 degrees Celsius), crossed Highway 137 shortly after midnight local time last night, according to Hawaii’s Civil Defense Agency said, and sent lava flowing into the ocean. Now, portions of Highway 137 and 130 are closed.
This event has prompted the agency to issue "Laze" warning as lava flow from the fissure reached the ocean, reports Fox News. “Laze is formed when hot lava hits the ocean sending hydrochloric acid and steam with fine glass particles into the air,” Civil Defense Agency said. “Health hazards of laze include lung, eye and skin irritation. Be aware that the laze plume travels with the wind and can change direction without warning.”
Lava from the Kilauea Volcano flows across a street on Hawaii's "Big Island"
Lava from the Kilauea Volcano flows across a street on Hawaii's "Big Island"
, US Geological Survey/AFP/File
The lava flow is increasing
The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said that the rate of eruptions increased in the area known as the lower east rift zone, where four fissures have merged together. This has resulted in "a continuous line of spatter and fountaining". Two different lava flows from the combined fissures have now merged less than a mile from the coast.
"It is a very dynamic situation," geologist Carolyn Parcheta from the observatory told a news conference while warning of the risk to one of the main residential areas, reports the BBC.
Lava "flooded around the east side of Lanipuna Gardens, and to me, that is a very scary scenario," she said. "That's what concerns me most - is that people might be trapped by something like that."
More about Kilauea Volcano, lava spatter, 22 fissures, evacuation routes, Eruption