World News

Kilauea Opens New Fissure, Spews More Lava And Toxic Gas

Kilauea Opens New Fissure, Spews More Lava And Toxic Gas

It's among the five volcanoes that form the Big Island, and it's the only one actively erupting.

"This has relieved pressure temporarily", U.S. Geological Survey geologist Michelle Coombs told a news conference in Hilo. One of the latest shots is a view of a "moonscape" with a massive rock in the middle.

PAHOA, HI - MAY 12: Lava flows at a lava fissure in the aftermath of eruptions from the Kilauea volcano on Hawaii's Big Island, on May 12, 2018 in Pahoa, Hawaii. The USGS estimates the rock was about 2 feet (0.6 meters) across before it broke up on impact.

It is also reported that was evacuated employees volcano Observatory and national Park.

Officials expect volcanic activity to continue, citing a similar series of events in 1924 that lasted 2½ weeks.

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.

"A lot of my friends from the mainland, they have been inundating me with, 'Are you OK?' A lot of them think we're (just) one island", she said.

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Scientists with the USGS have not yet figured out the cause of explosions like the one that happened Thursday morning.

Please click on the image to open it in a new window, and then click on the plume to zoom in. Due to elevated sulfur dioxide levels in the area, local schools are also closed, Hawaii County Civil Defense said.

Fissure No. 17 northeast of Lanipuna Gardens was active but with less lava being added to the flow, said Steve Brantley, deputy scientist-in-charge at Hawaii Volcano Observatory.

The National Weather Service reports at 4 a.m. the radar estimates the height of the plume was around 30,000 feet.

The powerful explosions could hurl "ballistic blocks" the size of small cars across a distance of more than half a mile (1 km) and shoot pebble-sized projectiles and debris up to a dozen miles, the USGS has warned. Hawaii's state volcanologist, Bruce Houghton, says that the current event appears to be a type of complex eruption that occurs only once every 50 to 80 years. They say light, wet ash fell in parts of a town called Volcano, about 3 or 4 miles (5 or 6 kilometers) from the summit crater. At the same time, tourism is the island's biggest industry and people's livelihoods are dependent on visitors coming, he said.

Robert Hughes, the owner of Aloha Junction Bed and Breakfast in Volcano, said he's had "tons" of cancellations since Wednesday when geologists first warned of the explosive eruption.


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