- The Kilauea volcano in Hawaii erupted last Thursday after more than a week of intense activity.
- Lava has continued to burst out of several fissures, and reached as far as the Pacific Ocean.
- A new toxic ash plume was created after the lava entered the ocean, which can kill people if they breathe it in.
Lava is still gushing out of Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano four days after its latest eruption, and has reached as far as the Pacific Ocean.
The lava hitting the ocean water has also started to produce a volcanic haze made of gaseous hydrochloric acid, steam, and tiny volcano glass particles, which authorities have warned is a major health risk.
Kilauea has been very active over the past few weeks, with the latest eruption taking place last Thursday. It opened up several new fissures, which have been contributing to the scorching new lava flows on the island.
Molten rock has been pouring out of more than 20 fissures from the volcano, Sky News reported on Monday.
Here’s how the area looks now:
#LeilaniEstatesEruption #KilaueaVolcano LATEST (May 20 at 4:45 PM): New aerial footage captures the extent of activity along the lower East Rift Zone where the two lava flows have crossed Highway 137 and are pouring magma into the ocean at Pohoʻiki near Mālama Flats, northeast of MacKenzie State Park and southwest of Isaac Hale Beach Park. USGS HVO scientists say sulfur dioxide emissions have tripled in the area where two lava flows have made contact with ocean water. According to the Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense alert that was just released: “Be aware of the laze hazard and stay away from any ocean plume. Laze is formed when hot lava hits the ocean sending hydrochloric acid and steam with fine glass particles into the air. The U.S. Coast Guard is actively monitoring the area. Only permitted tour boats are allowed in the area. Be aware that the laze plume travels with the wind and can change direction without warning. Health risks are present both landside and on the water. Due to hazardous conditions from lava and fires, the following policies are in effect: Highway 137 is closed between Kamaʻili Road and Pohoʻiki Road. Kamaʻili Road is closed to all through traffic. The Department of Water Supply says an emergency water restriction is still in effect for customers between Kapoho and Pohoʻiki. The flow that has crossed Pohoʻiki Road cut off water supply to residents. Two water tankers are providing public drinking water access to residents and visitors in Vacationland and Kapoho Beach Lots. HELCO advises residents in the down rift of the flow to be aware of downed power lines. Always assume the power lines are active and exercise extreme caution.” Stay tuned to @HawaiiNewsNow for the very latest developments #HInews #HawaiiNews #HNN #HawaiiNewsNow #WeAreYourSource (Video: Mick Kalber)
The volcano haze which now threatens island residents – and has killed people in the past – is known as “laze”, a combination of “lava” and “haze”.
- Mario Tama/Getty
Its product is laze, a combination of gaseous hydrochloric acid, steam, and tiny volcano glass particles, and is described by the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory as very hot and corrosive.
As of Sunday night, two lava flows had crossed a major highway on the Big Island’s eastern rim, spilling into the Pacific Ocean and producing the haze.
- Google Maps/Business Insider
A man who was on the balcony of his house was also “lava-bombed” over the weekend, in which a solid chunk of lava burst out of nowhere.
Local emergency officials said it “hit him on the shin, and shattered everything from there down on his leg.”