Kilauea Volcano's Lava Seen from Space Glowing at Night

Sergio Conner
June 1, 2018

Earlier in the day, a small explosion of ash erupted from the summit of the volcano early in a vertical plume some 4600 metres high, the US Geological Survey said. At least two other fissures were active with lava production.

Since the first eruption occurred in the Leilani Estates subdivision on the evening of Thursday, May 3, emergency officials believe almost 2,500 residents have been forced to evacuate as lava, flowing from numerous volcanic fissures, consumes everything in its path.

One fissure was observed spouting lava more than 200ft into the air. As of 7 a.m., lava was about 3 miles away from Four Corners and was advancing in pauses and surges at a rate of about 600 yards per hour, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Authorities estimated Tuesday night that lava had consumed 71 homes on the Big Island, including 20 in the previous two days, Hawaii County Civil Defense Administrator Talmadge Magno told reporters during a news conference in Hilo.

A broad lava flow has crossed onto the property of a Hawaii geothermal power station, posing a new hazard as molten rock from the erupting Kilauea volcano bulldozes relentlessly through homes and backyards.

"Is it safe to roast marshmallows over volcanic vents?" asked Twitter user, Jay Furr.

Hawaii County said lava destroyed the local electric utility's equipment on the highway, which knocked out power to Vacationland and Kapoho Beach Lots neighbourhoods toward the coast. Authorities on Tuesday advised residents to minimize exposure to avoid irritation to skin and eyes and breathing problems.

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"With winds spreading ash in the same direction, repeated eruptions will lead to a heavier buildup of ash", the weather service said.

Anyone refusing to obey the evacuation order is at risk, as Mayor Kim stated: "Persons remaining in the mandatory evacuation area beyond the effective date and time of this Order do so at their own risk with the knowledge that emergency responders may not respond".

USGS: The eruption at Kilauea right now is impacting a small portion of the Big Island.

Often, sulfur dioxide emitted from Kilauea creates volcanic smog, or "vog", so the USGS half-joked that a chemical reaction might occur between the sulfur-rich vog and the sugar-rich marshmallows. "Donna's house is gone".

Back then, Gebbie acknowledged that Hawaii's residents had to deal with lava.

"We've really been trying to clear up some misconceptions and tell people Hawaii is open for business".

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