Hawaii Volcano Eruption and aftermath; dramatic visuals inside

Lucy Bush
May 13, 2018

Experts feared that Kilauea could send ash and boulders from the its summit crater, which has not been seen for almost a century.

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. It has destroyed 36 structures, including 26 homes. There are now 15 of the vents spread through the Leilani Estates and neighboring Lanipuna Gardens neighborhoods.

Hawaii Governor David Ige confirmed the declaration on Friday, with a statement from the White House saying it was signed on Tuesday.

The plant, which is owned by Ormat Technologies of Reno, Nevada, is across a highway from where lava has been erupting.

The magma that has emerged so far has been relatively cool and slow-moving, believed to be left over from a similar event in 1955.

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Hawaii County Managing Director Wil Okabe says the pentane was moved to an industrial park some 30 miles (48 kilometers) away from the Puna Geothermal Venture. Volcano and other nearby communities may be showered by pea-sized fragments or dusted with nontoxic ash but they aren't expected to get hit by large boulders, she said.

"There is the potential for additional outbreaks", Christina Neal, the chief scientist at the U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory at Kilauea told a news briefing.

As the lava levels inside the volcano drain lower, the danger of an eruption can actually increase.

The fear is that it will go below the underground water table - another 1,000 feet further down - and that would trigger a chain of events that could lead to a "very violent" steam explosion, Mandeville said.

Already, the volcano has been experiencing small explosions.

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"We suspect it's a rapid process".

"The earthquakes that we get at volcanoes can tell us an terrible lot of what the magma is doing as it's moving through the rocks", Johnson told CBC News.

However, the immediate vicinity around the summit, an area controlled by the National Park Service, was to be closed to visitors indefinitely, starting on Thursday night. "We know it is a distinct possibility". "Life and safety is what's most important".

Volcanologists believe these explosions happen when a lava lake - a large volume of molten lava often contained in a crater or volcanic vent - drops and groundwater is able to seep into the resulting shaft, or lava tube. But some ignored the order and stayed to watch over their property. Brantley said a Global Positioning System receiver left in an area southeast of Nanawale Estates, on the other side of Highway 132 from Leilani Estates, had moved about 8 inches Thursday.

But Hughes, a 45-year resident of the village of some 2,500 people, suspects he'll soon hear from adventurers and photographers who want to see the eruption up close.

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