Explosive eruption at Hawaii volcano

Cheryl Sanders
May 18, 2018

Then last week, it was Kilauea volcano sending 2,200 degree (1,200 degree Celsius) bursting through cracks into people's backyards in the Leilani Estates neighborhood.

Thursday's eruption did not affect the Big Island's two largest airports in Hilo and in Kailua-Kona.

A spike in toxic sulphur dioxide gas closed schools around the village of Pahoa, 40 km east of the volcano, where fissures have destroyed 37 homes and other structures and forced about 2000 residents to evacuate, health officials said.

A U.S. Geological Survey volcanologist described the pre-dawn explosive eruption at the summit of Kilauea as "short-lived" and not having a "widespread impact". She said the ashfall was localized.

Hoyt, who also happens to be the mayor pro tem of Walsenburg, is one of two Red Cross volunteers now in Hawaii. He's concerned ash could drift from the Big Island and affect his asthmatic relatives, including his father, or that earthquakes from the volcanic activity could trigger a tsunami.

Time lapse images show ash plume rising from the Kilauea volcano on the Big Island.

Pearlside is organizing three fundraisers - a run-a-thon, bake sale and auto wash - and a portion of the proceeds will go to relief efforts on Hawaii Island.

Because Kilauea is one of the best-monitored volcanoes in the world, scientists hope that data on the event will help them to better predict when similar volcanoes are about to erupt.

"Like back home in Colorado when there's a wildfire, there's always people who are wondering what's happening to their house", he said.

At 10:41 a.m. local time on May 14, 2018, the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 acquired a natural-color image of the volcano.

Kanani Aton, a spokeswoman for Hawaii County Civil Defence, said she spoke to several relatives and friends in the town called Volcano.

"Just a little while ago we had something that sounded like thunder", Hoyt said.

Hawaii's Kilauea volcano erupted anew early today with little sound and only modest fury, spewing a steely gray plume of ash about 9,100 metres into the sky that began raining down on a nearby town.

Volcanic smog - known as "vog" - is now being emitted by the fissures, traveling toward populated areas and threatening residents with risky sulfur dioxide.

"Our shelters are set up so we're not downwind from where the gasses are", he said.

"We know what people are going through in Leilani Estates".

Fissures, or cracks in the ground, are opening wider and wider by the day.

Szigeti, in a news release, urged those with plans to visit the Big Island to keep their bookings, noting the area devastated by volcanic activity is a small section of the island's 4,000-plus square miles.

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