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article imageWarnings of more lava and possible explosion of Hawaii volcano

By Karen Graham     May 14, 2018 in Science
Hilo - Residents near Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano faced warnings on Monday that more lava-spewing fissures could open near their homes and that the volcano’s summit may be getting ready for an explosion that could scatter ash and debris and boulders for miles.
Hawaii's Kilauea volcano began erupting on May 3, and since that time, almost 2,000 people have been forced to evacuate as 18 large fissures have ripped through the Leilani Estates subdivision about 35 miles from Hilo, the island’s largest city.
At least 37 structures, including 26 homes have been destroyed by the relentless flow of the unpredictable 2,000-degree lava, while the poisonous sulfur dioxide gas emissions have turned the vegetation a sickly brown. To date, no deaths or injuries have been reported since Kilauea began its new series of eruptions 11 days ago.
May 12 update: New outbreak reported at 6:00 pm ~0.5 mile northeast from end of Hinalo Road  very cl...
May 12 update: New outbreak reported at 6:00 pm ~0.5 mile northeast from end of Hinalo Road, very close to fissure 16 Lava is actively spattering and degassing but no flow has yet formed.
USGS
Kilauea has been in a state of nearly constant eruption since 1983 but began a series of major explosions early this month. And now, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the volcano is poised to really explode, although it is estimated the damages would only radiate out from the crater about 12 miles.
In its latest warning, the USGS notes "this eruption is still evolving and additional outbreaks of lava are possible. The location of future outbreaks could include areas both uprift (southwest) and downrift (northeast) of the existing fissures, or, existing fissures can be reactivated. Communities downslope of these fissures could be at risk from lava inundation. Activity can change rapidly."
A clear view of the crater on May 11. The deepest part of the crater is about 350 m (1150 ft) below ...
A clear view of the crater on May 11. The deepest part of the crater is about 350 m (1150 ft) below the crater rim.
USGS
Of particular concern is the summit of Kilauea, which is continuing on its deflationary tilt. Steam and gas, along with some ash have been rising from the overlook crater within Halemaumau. There have been numerous rockfalls into the crater. This issue, along with the withdrawal of lava from the Kilauea summit lake is causing an ongoing subsidence of the summit area.
Lava Flow
The lava flows constantly from the Kilauea volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii, considered the most active volcano in the world.
USGS
The volcano is located in the far east of Hawaii’s 4,028-square-mile (10,430-square-km) Big Island, which is home to about 200,000 people. Experts are warning the volcano could hurl ash and boulders the size of refrigerators miles into the air.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, besides Kilauea, some of the most dangerous volcanoes in the Pacific Ring of Fire can be found in the United States. They include Mount St. Helens and Mount Rainier in Washington; Mount Hood and South Sister in Oregon; and Mount Shasta and Lassen Volcanic Center in California.
More about Kilauea Volcano, explosion possible, USGS, lava outbreaks, ring of fire
 
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