Monday, 10 December, 2018

Trump Declares Disaster for Hawaii Eruption

At Kīlauea when the lava column drops below the water table groundwater may come into contact with with magma or hot rocks causing violent steam explosions Hawaii asks Trump to declare state of disaster for volcano eruption
Glenn Montgomery | 13 May, 2018, 00:47

The current surge of volcanic activity on Hawaii's Big Island threatens to spill over into a series of massive explosions, ScienceAlert reported, citing researchers and local officials.

Dozens of tremors rattled residents on Hawaii's Big Island on Friday as molten rock from Kilauea volcano flowed under an area where homes have already been destroyed by fiery lava geysers.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) issued an orange alert Wednesday, warning that the "steady lowering" of the lava lake in Kilauea's Overlook Crater has "raised the potential for explosive eruptions in the coming weeks".

Scientists believe lava that's been erupting in a Hawaii residential neighborhood since last week is magma that's been stored in the ground since Kilauea volcano erupted in the same region 63 years ago. Then last week, it was Kilauea volcano sending 2,200 degree (1,200 degree Celsius) lava bursting through cracks into people's backyards in the Leilani Estates neighborhood.

As a lava lake at Kilauea's summit drains inside the volcano, magma is running underground.

What could happen is not an eruption of volcanic gases but mostly trapped steam from flash-heated groundwater released like in a kitchen pressure cooker, with rocks, said volcanologist Janine Krippner of Concord University in West Virginia.

Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park closed Friday, May 11, 2018, until further notice due to ongoing seismic activity and the anticipated explosive steam event and possibility of rock and ash fall at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano. "You don't want to be underneath anything that weighs 10 tons when it's coming out at 120 miles per hour".

Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park entrance station closure signs and NPS Law Enforcement.

Hawaii's Kilauea volcano continues to erupt, creating lava-oozing fissures and prompting new concerns about possible toxic gas, acid rain, and flying refrigerator-sized boulders.

NASA claims that the although the Kilauea is consistently releasing sulfur dioxide gas, in recent days there has been a significant increase in the amounts released, which likely stems from the creation of new fissures. "Why did they let people build all around it?" she asked. As a result, lava levels inside the volcano's main crater have been decreasing.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientist Tina Neal explained: "What will take a turn for the worst in terms of hazard is if hotter, fresher magma makes it to the surface and that could be what is coming".

"My equivalent of this - and I'm from South Florida where we have hurricanes - is driving quite literally into a hurricane", she said.

The National Park surrounding the danger zone has been shut down over the fear of flying boulders. Rockfalls into the crater are generating small ash clouds, but active eruption and spatter has paused along the lower flanks overnight-yet could still restart at any time.

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