The Kilauea volcano in Hawaii has begun an eruption. The USGS announced that the volcano began erupting with lava on June 7, just hours after the warning about a possible eruption was issued. The publication told more about the elements CBS News.
The United States Geological Survey (USGS) said lava eruptions appeared shortly before 04:45 local time, when the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory "detected a glow in Kilauea peak webcam images." These images showed that the eruption began in the crater of the Halema'uma'u volcano.
"Webcam footage shows cracks in the base of Halema'uma'u crater, forming lava flows on the surface of the crater floor," the agency said. "Activity is limited to Halema'uma'u and the danger will be assessed as the eruption develops."
The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency says there are currently "no indications that communities are at risk."
Kilauea eruption live
Livestream of the eruption shows lava flowing through the crater and forming large bubbles. A live stream of the blazing volcano from the US Geological Survey captured the dramatic start of the eruption before dawn. The footage shows bright lava bursting through the surface of the crater and gushing into the air, accompanied by clouds of ash.
What happens during the eruption of the Kilauea volcano
Kilauea has erupted more than once over several decades. The last eruption began on the afternoon of January 5 and did not stop until March 7. Prior to this, the volcano periodically puffed lava from September 2021 to March 2022, according to the US Geological Survey. Its strongest ejection was the Puu'o'o' eruption, which lasted 35 years - from 1983 to 2018. It ended when the crater floor and Pu'u'o'o' lava lake collapsed.
On March 19, 2008, the Halema'uma'u crater opened and formed a lava lake. The volcano entered a phase of new activity on March 6, 2011, when the Puu'o'o' crater exploded and partially collapsed.
In early May 2018, a series of eruptions began along the eastern part of the "fissure zone" of the volcano. Before the onset of volcanic activity, earthquakes and a rise in the level of the lava lake in the Halema'uma'u crater were observed. These phenomena continued even when the eruption began. By September 2018, the lava flows had dried up. On December 20, 2020, the US Geological Survey recorded a new Kilauea eruption in Halema'uma'u crater.
So far, the most recent lava ejection has occurred "in a restricted area" of Hawaii's Volcanoes National Park, the USGS said, and there are "no signs of activity migrating" beyond the summit. The agency's latest update reported that there are several active lava fountains ranging in height from 13 to 30 feet (4-9 m) and at least one fissure. Around the perimeter of the crater floor is 3 to 6 feet (0,9 to 1,8 m) of uplifted lava.
While the lava is held in place, the USGS said volcanic gas emissions are elevated in the area, with about 65 tons of sulfur dioxide released per day.
Residents have been urged to stay indoors or wear face masks as high levels of volcanic gas are of greatest concern.
“This danger could have far-reaching consequences,” the service said, as large amounts of water vapor, carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide are “continuously released” during the eruption. Sulfur dioxide, in particular, will contribute to the formation of volcanic smog, known as vogue, which creates a visible haze. This has already been observed from the leeward side of the volcano.
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The thin glass fibers formed by the gas during the eruption, known as Pele's hair, are also dangerous. They were spotted in the town of Pahala, about 20 miles (32 km) downwind from the summit. These filaments form when bubbles of gas burst near the surface of lava and stretch the skin of that lava into long filaments that can be "a couple of feet long," according to the National Park Service.
“Because these threads are very light, they can fly through the air and be carried by the wind,” the department said. Although they are fragile and brittle, they are still sharp. Like tiny pieces of glass, they can get stuck in a person's skin and worse, in their eyes. Care must be taken to avoid injury."
The fibers are named after Pele, the Hawaiian goddess of volcanoes, described by the NPS as "the embodiment of lava and natural forces associated with volcanic eruptions." Native Hawaiians believe that she has her permanent home in the Halema'uma'u crater in Kilauea.