Kilauea could erupt with 'once-in-a-century' explosion, geologists warn

Everyone has been looking at Kilauea volcano's lava flows.

Hawaii needs help - that's the message the state's governor sent President Donald Trump this week after volcanic activity continues to wreak havoc on the island.

"Due to decreasing tradewinds, residents are advised to monitor their sensitivity to increased levels of (sulfur dioxide)", a text alert message sent Thursday said. A steady plume of steam is rising from the overlook vent. The Hawaii Volcanoes National Park houses the crater and the surrounding region.

USGS geologists are closely monitoring the volcano. "You don't want to be underneath anything that weighs 10 tons when it's coming out at 120 miles per hour".

The town, which is nestled in a lush rainforest a few miles from the crater, is a popular overnight spot for park visitors. "We all know it's a distinct risk". The volcano's internal plumbing could still prevent an explosion. (Pictured: Gas rises from a crater, illuminated by the glow of lava.) Mario Tama/Getty ImagesWhere There's SmokeHere, U.S. Army National Guard member measures for sulfur dioxide gas. There are now 15 of the vents spread through Leilani Estates and neighboring Lanipuna Gardens.

Gov. David Ige said crews at a geothermal energy plant near the lava outbreak accelerated the removal of stored flammable fuel as a precaution. The Puna Geothermal Venture plant had about 50,000 gallons of pentane.

Barbara Lozano, who lives inside a mile of the plant, mentioned she would have thought twice about shopping for her property if she had recognized the dangers.

"Why did they let us buy residential property, knowing it was a unsafe situation? Why did they let people build all around it?" she asked.

Hawaiian volcanoes Observatory has warned that growing instability in the area may mean that other areas of the island may also be at risk.

"In 1988, the drinking water of almost 40% of homes using such systems in the Kona Districts of the island was found to be contaminated with lead leached by acid rain", the USGS said. "There's beauty and also darkness". Distant communities such as Hilo, about 30 miles away, could get a dusting of ash.

About 2,000 people have been evacuated from the neighborhoods, where scorching lava has oozed from the ground.

"The recent scenarios have been developed using all the current techniques, data and knowledge of the get the best idea of how a volcanic eruption in Auckland might impact on our society", Dr Lindsay says. If the lava drops below the water table, the encroaching water would turn to steam, building up pressure beneath the plug of fallen rocks and debris.

On the present fee of change, that's about six or seven days away.

The violent eruption would cause a continuous process of rock from the volcano's inside walls to be shaken loose, fall into the lava, and then explode.

If the lava lake drains to the water table, steam-driven explosions could throw blocks of rock up to six feet wide for distances of up to a mile.

"We're learning about how the lava is impacting upon lifelines like water supply and electricity". And the dropped rocks maintain that steam in till it blows.

The small, aptly named city of Volcano, Hawaii, inhabitants 2,500, is about Three miles (4.83 kilometers) from the summit.

  • Joey Payne