Hawaii volcano eruption could blast fridge-sized boulders, ash into the air

Steam and fire rises from fissure  REUTERS

Steam and fire rises from fissure REUTERS

The volcano, which spread lava during the week, also threatened the geothermal power plant, the Puna Geothermal Venture plant.

Barbara Lozano, who lives within a mile of the plant, said she would have thought twice about buying her property if she had known the risks.

The volcano also triggered a magnitude 6.9 quake on Friday, Hawaii's largest in 40 years.

Geologists say that as the lava lake continues to drop in the Halemaumau crater, it may fall below the water table. "We don't know what's going on underground". When the molten rock reaches groundwater levels, pressurized steam can cause an explosion, shooting rocks and ash miles away from the crater.

We have always heard that the Hawaiian volcanoes (which are technically called Shield Volcanoes) are not explosive, unlike the Cascade Volcanoes (called stratovolcanoes), which tend to be volatile. No one lives in the area surrounding the summit crater, but preparations are still being made for an explosive event. And as soon as the lava drops beneath the water desk, water hits rocks which can be as scorching as almost 2,200 levels (1,200 Celsius) and flashes into steam.

Hawaii's governor is asking President Donald Trump to declare the state a disaster because of earthquakes and a volcanic eruption on the Big Island. It means that the buildup of magma flows out of cracks in the ground on the lower part of the volcano.

The receding lava lake resembles conditions seen before a major summit eruption in 1924, said Tina Neal, scientist in charge at the USGS Hawaiian Volcanoes Observatory. Ige said crews at the plant near the lava outbreak accelerated the removal of stored flammable fuel with safety in mind.

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As long as people stay away, they will be safe, Johnson said, noting that residents are likely well aware of the potential dangers while tourists may be less so.

Currently, there are no changes in the itinerary, said Nair, but that could change depending on further activity.

"The recent scenarios have been developed using all the current techniques, data and knowledge of the field.to get the best idea of how a volcanic eruption in Auckland might impact on our society", Dr Lindsay says.

As soon as the lava drops, rocks that had been superheated might fall into the lava tube.

During steam-driven explosions, ballistic blocks up to two yards across could be thrown in all directions to a distance of about a half mile. When the water hits the lava, it additionally steams. The resulting explosion can blast rocks and ash for miles. If one other blast occurs, the hazard zone might lengthen about Three miles (5 kilometers) across the summit, land all contained in the nationwide park, Mandeville mentioned.

The small, aptly named town of Volcano, Hawaii, population 2,500, is about 3 miles from the summit. Janet Coney is office manager of the Kilauea Lodge, an inn and restaurant.

"There've been both electricity outages and water outages in Hawaii and in Auckland we have a lot of buried infrastructure so how far the heat travels into the ground is of interest".

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