New threat from volcano in Hawaii

Paola Ditto
Mag 22, 2018

Lava from the volcano erupting on Hawaii's Big Island reached the Pacific Ocean for the first time Saturday night, creating fears of an effect referred to as "laze". Fortunately, on Sunday, a large crack opened near the ocean and swallowed some of the lava into the ground, according to the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

"Here's nature reminding us again who's boss", Kekedi said.

Acid rain from laze has corrosive properties equivalent to diluted battery acid, the agency said. It was just offshore and running parallel to the coast, said U.S. Geological Survey scientist Wendy Stovall.

He was on a third-floor balcony at his home in the remote, rural region affected by the volcano when the lava "hit him on the shin, and shattered everything from there down on his leg", Hawaii County Mayor's spokeswoman, Janet Snyder, told Hawaii News Now. "The plume is an irritating mixture of hydrochloric acid gas (HCl), steam, and tiny volcanic glass particles", the USGS said. On top of the laze, sulfur dioxide emissions have tripped due to the increased eruptions and fissure leaks.

Members of the media record a wall of lava entering the ocean near Pahoa.

Coast Guard Lt Cmdr John Bannon said "getting too close to the lava can result in serious injury or death". "Be aware that the laze plume travels with the wind and can change direction without warning".

The US Coast Guard enforced a Lava Entry Safety Zone Sunday for the navigable waters around the Kilauea Volcano.

Noni Farms Road is a residential road that lies to the east of the Leilani Estates neighborhood in Pahoa, where the majority of the attention has been focused ever since Kilauea's volcanic activity increased dramatically three weeks ago.

So far, the lava flows have destroyed a number of homes and other structures, the Associated Press reports, and has ignited several fires.

The caustic plume, which can be fatal if inhaled, was the latest danger in an eruption that shows no signs of stopping, Since it started on May 3. About 2,000 people have evacuated their homes, including 300 who were staying in shelters.

The flows accelerated after newer lava began emerging from the ground late last week.

The new lava is hotter, moves faster and has spread over a wider area.

"If you get enough lava coming in, it'll start growing itself laterally to form a much more solid and coherent set of lava flow benches [or landforms]", said Bergantz.

Hawaii tourism officials have stressed that most of the Big Island remains unaffected by the eruption and is open for business.

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