Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Kilauea volcano eruption update - 05/08/2018

It looks like the island is collapsing! More than a hundred quakes yesterday brings the total to 1400 in the last 7 days at Kilauea volcano



the Big Wobble,
8 May, 2018

Nearly another 150 quakes rattled the South Island of Hawaii yesterday bringing the total to more than 1360 quakes of various power in the last 7 days as the island continues to be shaken and it doesn't look like stopping anytime soon!

Scientists forecast more eruptions and more earthquakes, perhaps for months to come, after the southeast corner of the island was rocked by a 6.9 tremor on Friday, the strongest on the island since 1975.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said on Saturday that several new lava fissures had opened in the Leilani Estates subdivision of Puna District, about a dozen miles (19 km) from the volcano.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said at midday local time on Saturday that “eruptive activity is increasing and is expected to continue.”

Lava and gas continued to erupt from Kilauea volcano across a remote, rural neighbourhood on Hawaii Island, and by Monday had destroyed 35 structures, including at least 26 homes, authorities said.

By Monday, the emission of lava from multiple fissures had become minimal, the U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said, but "this is likely only a pause in activity; additional outbreaks or a resumption of activity are anticipated as seismicity continues in the area."

Lava flows had advanced slowly northward throughout Sunday in the Leilani Gardens neighbourhood, in large part fueled by a fissure that had been spewing lava fountains to heights of more than 200 feet, the U.S. Geological Survey said.
A lava flow from that crack moved about 0.6 miles to the northeast before it stopped.

Video published by the USGS showed asphalt roads being slowly consumed by a moving wall of molten rock, with thick red-hot lava glowing underneath, as black smoke billowed upward.

USGS helicopter footage showed a river of ash cut through the lush tropical forest, with a lava fountain that had been active Sunday billowing red-hot molten rock around the charred landscape.

At least 10 fissures have developed since Kilauea began a fresh eruption Thursday in the Leilani Estates neighbourhood, located about 25 miles east of the summit of Kilauea, one of the world's most active volcanoes and Hawaii Island's youngest.

Ground cracks have begun to emerge crossing Highway 130, west of the eruptions, the USGS said. Fluctuating and intermittent eruptions are likely to continue along the volcano's eastern shoulder, known as the lower East Rift Zone, and scientists warned that although Leilani Estates remains at highest risk, other areas in the region could also fall at risk if the eruption continues.

There was no way to say for certain how long the current eruption would continue.
In 2014, lava spilt out from the volcano and authorities worried for months that the town of Pahoa would be inundated.

"It's sort of like you've injected ammonia into your lungs" Incredible level of sulfur dioxide in the atmosphere from Kilauea volcano off the scale

Earthwind map showing the incredible level of sulfur dioxide in the atmosphere blowing off the South Island

With almost 1400 quakes in the last 7 days and fissures spewing lava fountains to heights of more than 200 feet the real threat to residents of the whole South Island is the incredible amount of a toxic gas with a pungent, irritating smell called sulphur dioxide which is a major air pollutant and has significant impacts on human health, In addition, the concentration of sulfur dioxide in the atmosphere can influence the habitat suitability for plant communities, as well as animal life.

Sulfur dioxide emissions are a precursor to acid rain and atmospheric particulates
It is a toxic gas with a pungent, irritating smell and is released naturally by volcanic activity, however, the amount being released on the South Island is staggering.

According to CBS, Residents on the Big Island are now being warned about the exposure to high levels of sulfur dioxide from the lava, a gas that can cause intense coughing and burning throats.

Volcano expert Paul Davis says the gas occurs during the melting process.
"It's sort of like you've injected ammonia into all your, your nose, into your breathing area, into your throat," Davis said.

Hawaii News reports, authorities confirm two additional fissures have opened up in the Big Island's Leilani Estates subdivision, where lava has already claimed at least 35 structures since eruptions started Thursday and forced hundreds from their homes.

PAHOA, Hawaii (Reuters) - The Kilauea volcano erupted again on Tuesday, spewing toxic gases out of two new vents and prompting authorities to call for an immediate evacuation of residents from a second neighborhood on the Big Island.

The County of Hawaii Civil Defense Agency issued an emergency bulletin ordering residents of the Lanipuna Gardens area on the east side of the island to leave their homes.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory confirms 2 new vents. All Lanipuna residents must evacuate now,” the agency said in its bulletin, adding that the two vents had opened near two road intersections and were “actively erupting”.

Earlier on Tuesday residents of the hardest hit area, known as Leilani Estates, drove through clouds of sulfur and over cracked roads to make desperate and possibly last visits home before another eruption by Kilauea, which has already destroyed 35 homes and other structures.

David Nail, who recently sold his business and moved to Lelani Estates from Orange County, California after his wife was diagnosed with Parkinsons disease, said a 20-foot wall of lava blocked him from getting close enough to see if his house had been destroyed.

All we could do was sit there and cry,” Nail said.

Earlier in the day U.S. Army veteran Delance Weigel, 71, collected some of his prized possessions as steam and sulfur dioxide gas rose out of cracks in the street.

The way it looks now, I thought I’d try one more time to get my things out,” Weigel said. “Whether we lose our home or not, we’ll see. But we’re definitely going to be cut off. You move to paradise, then this happens.”


No deaths or major injuries have been reported since Kilauea, which has been in a state of nearly constant eruption since 1983, began a series of major explosions on Thursday, spewing fountains of lava as high as 300 feet (90 meters) into the air and deadly volcanic gas up through cracks in the earth.

Kilauea predominantly pours basaltic lava flows into the ocean, but occasionally experiences more explosive events such as the one that began last week.

Some 1,700 residents were ordered to leave Leilani Estates, where lava has been bubbling out of some 2-1/2 miles (4 km) of fissures in the ground emanating from Kilauea lava tunnels on the eastern side of the Big Island.

New areas could be subject to evacuation as fingers of the fissure system slowly spread eastward, threatening neighborhoods that until now had been considered safe.

There’s still plenty of magma under the ground. Seismicity is still up,” Hawaii Civil Defense Administrator Talmadge Magno told a community meeting on Monday night. “If things get dicey, you got to get out.”

On Friday, The southeastern corner of the island was rocked by a powerful magnitude 6.9 earthquake on the volcano’s south flank, the strongest since 1975, and more quakes and eruptions have been forecast, perhaps for months to come.

Kilauea has opened a total of 14 volcanic vents since it started sending out fountains and rivers of lava as hot as 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit (1,093 degrees Celsius) on Thursday, officials said.

Hawaii’s 4,028-square-mile (10,430-square-km) Big Island accounts for less than a fifth of the state’s tourism.

State data show that in the first three months of 2018, 16 percent of the $4.81 billion visitors spent in Hawaii came from the Big Island, less than half of the levels seen on the islands of Oahu and Maui.

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