Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

Lava flow from Hawaii volcano engulfs neighborhood, creates new land

U.S. Geological Survey map U.S. Geological Survey map
Melinda Barton | 09 June, 2018, 19:39

The quake struck just three miles from the volcano which has been erupted constantly for over a month.

The latest eruption began early Tuesday morning and was so powerful that it spewed ash almost a mile into the air and sparked a 5.5 magnitude quake, scientists say.

At least 12,000 earthquakes on Hawaii's Big Island in the last 30 days.

Kilauea, the most active of Hawaii's five volcanoes, is feared to be on the brink of another major eruption after being rattled by more than 500 earthquakes over the weekend. Shaded purple areas indicate lava flows erupted in 1840, 1955, 1960, and 2014-2015. Note the red colours along the northern margin of the broad area - this is where the flow began expanding into Beach Lots yesterday. Lava has since been pouring out of large fissures in the earth and down to the ocean. The crater now has a funnel shape geometry with a deep cylindrical shaft, filled with rubble.

Since the Kilauea volcano first erupted in Leilani Estates on May 3, it has spread more than four billion cubic feet of lava on Hawaii's biggest island. It's also possible for other fissures to re-activate.

The latest seismic activity will fuel fears the volcano could unleash another massive explosion of lava and poisonous gases. A plume of toxic volcanic lava haze, called laze, stretched for miles. Phil Ong compares this to the 35 years long eruption that had been going on at Pu'u O'o prior to the start of this eruption, and notices that although the eruption rate is about 25 times higher, is not almost a match to the ca.

USGS officials also say there is no way to know when the eruption will end or if more fissures will open.