Published: Sat, May 26, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

Hawaii's Erupting Volcano Looks Even Crazier From Space at Night

Hawaii's Erupting Volcano Looks Even Crazier From Space at Night

Blue flames are appearing in Hawaii following the eruption of the Kilauea volcano.

U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist Mike Poland says small ash explosions are coming from the summit intermittently as lava keeps flowing into the ocean.

Blue flames rise from cracks, fueled by methane gas from burning plants and shrubs. Workers were capping the 11th and last well at the plant to prevent toxic gases from wafting out after lava entered, then stalled, on the property near one of the new volcanic vents.

"It's very dramatic. It's very eerie", Jim Kauahikaua, a USGS scientist, told the Associated Press.

Kilauea rumbled back to life on May 3 as it began extruding lava and sulfur dioxide emissions through a series of fissures, marking the latest phase of an eruption cycle that has continued almost nonstop for 35 years.

Geologists say Kilauea's eruption, which has already produced around two dozen lava-spewing fissures, has now entered a more violent phase, in which larger volumes of molten rock are oozing from the ground and traveling farther than before.

At least 22 lava fissures have opened in lower Puna, Hawaii, since a May 4 natural disaster near the Kilauea volcano.

The Kilauea volcano has opened more than 20 vents in the ground that have released lava sulfur dioxide and steam
GEORGE F. LEE AP The Kilauea volcano has opened more than 20 vents in the ground that have released lava sulfur dioxide and steam

The Leilani Estates neighborhood, where the volcano has been gushing lava on the big island of Hawaii for the past three weeks, is seen at center left part. Lava has crossed a coastal highway and into the Pacific Ocean, causing a phenomenon known as "laze", and crept towards a geothermal plant in the Puna district.

The fountains were feeding lava flows in channels down to the coast. The lava approached the southernmost point of the station's boundaries and a disused building belonging to the University of Hawaii caught fire, it stated. Lava from the Kilauea volcano is hitting the Pacific Ocean and it's sending laze, a unsafe combination of hydrochloric acid and glass particles, into the air. Hawaii County Civil Defense announced Thursday the situation remains stable.

One person has suffered a serious leg injury from flying lava spatter.

Be aware of the laze hazard and stay away from any ocean plume.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports eruption activity continues in the Lower East Rift Zone.

Officials called the plant "essentially safe", but many residents lost trust in the plant long ago.

Kris Burmeister watches lava erupt from fissures in the Leilani Estates subdivision near Pahoa, Hawaii, Tuesday, May 22, 2018.

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