Hawaii volcano eruption update: Free-flowing fissure creates lava river in shock pictures
HAWAII’S Mount Kilauea continues to spew massive amounts of lava from its highly active eighth fissure, creating rivers of lava to stream across the land and into the ocean. Here are all the latest updates on Kilauea volcano.
By [url=https://www.express.co.uk/search?s=Kate Whitfield]KATE WHITFIELD[/url]
PUBLISHED: 11:27, Tue, Jun 19, 2018 | UPDATED: 11:38, Tue, Jun 19, 2018(Follow link at top of this post to see video and view slideshow)
The Kilauea volcano is about to enter its seventh week of wreaking havoc on Big Island, with hundreds of homes destroyed as lava continues to spew out giant cracks in the ground.
The volcano, which has been in an eruptive cycle since 1983, turned explosive on May 3 - gushing molten lava and sending huge smoke and ash plumes into the air.
Fissure 8, named as it was the eighth of the 25 which opened up following the eruption, has proven the most active and continues to fountain lava 160ft (50 metres) into the air.
Lava is now covering 9.4 square miles of Big Island and the lava delta caused by lava flowing into the ocean is about 360 acres in size.
Where is the lava flow now?
As you can see from the USGS map below, the lava delta has redesigned the map, filling in the area previously known as Kapoho Bay.
The USGS said the “well-established” channel of lava from Fissure 8 is open all the way to the ocean, forming a river of lava which is snaking across the island.
Fissure 8 is creating this free-flowing river as the lava feeding it is coming from deeper within the volcano.
The lava we saw earlier was more viscous due to being present in the shallower parts of the volcano for decades.
Lava is now covering 9.4 square miles of Big Island
Note the area on the right which shows the previous Kapoho Bay coastline
The volcano has not only restructured Big Island, it is also restructuring itself.
The summit crater has slumped and collapsed, with a GPS station used by the USGS sinking 60m into the crater in the past week.
The reason for the slumping of the caldera - the official term for a large volcanic crater - is the drainage of magma from the reservoir within the volcano.
This lava lake is draining into the fissures, which in turn push out through the earth and make their way across the land.
This thermal imagine map shows the lava river moving across the island
Damage so far
Since this period of intense activity began, Kilauea has presented Big Island with a host of hazards.
There is laze - lava haze - a deadly mix of hydrochloric acid fumes, steam and tiny specks of volcanic glass, created when lava hits the ocean.
Vog - volcanic smog - is also a concern, a toxic sulphuric gas emitted by opening fissures.
Methane gas is also emitted from vegetation, which is being killed by the vog, and then explodes as it makes contact with lava.
Hawaii volcano eruption aerial pictures: Huge fissures open near Kilauea crater
Wed, June 13, 2018
Hawaii volcano eruption aerial pictures show huge fissures open near Kilauea crater – see the latest pictures.PLAY SLIDESHOW
Lava fountains at fissure 8 during ongoing eruptions of the Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii, June 11
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And then, of course, there is the lava itself. Approximately 700 homes have been destroyed since May 3, mostly in the Leilani Estates and Kapoho Bay area.
Around 3,000 people have had to flee their homes as the lava continues to cut through roads and escape routes on its march to the sea.
No one has been killed by this explosion, but one man was seriously injured when he was hit in the leg by a lava bomb.
Tourists have been warned to stay away from the volcano, which sits in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, and are being threatened with fines for entering zones closed off to the public.