Kilauea Could See First Explosive Eruption Since 1924
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Amid Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano’s ongoing eruption and earthquakes, the US Geological Survey released a new alert on Wednesday that warned of an explosive eruption that could launch 10-ton volcanic rocks thousands of feet into the air and spew plumes of ash as far as 20 miles.
Kilauea hasn’t had such an eruption in almost 100 years, despite being Hawaii’s most active volcano. The last explosive eruption happened in 1924, killing one person and causing ash to cloud the air for 17 days.
The way the volcano’s internal conditions are changing could mean a blast in as soon as a week, Charles Mandeville, a volcano hazards coordinator for USGS, told AP. Although the conditions might shift to avoid another major eruption, too.
USGS said that if the lava lake at summit of Kilauea drops too low, there is a possibility of explosive eruption. The explosions can also release toxic gases, in addition to shooting ballistic projectiles — some as big as a refrigerator — miles into the air. The “danger zone” for such an eruption could be about three miles around the volcano.
The ash clouds and other risks from an explosive eruption could shut down operations at the island’s airport, as well. Airlines have been issuing travel waivers in response to Kilauea’s first eruption, which happened last Thursday. That eruption sent magma oozing through a suburb called Leilani Estates and caused nearly 2,000 residents to evacuate.
A “very violent” steam explosion could also occur if the molten rock seeps below the island’s water table. The hot rocks would meet with the groundwater and build up steam pressure until they explode.
“If an explosion happens, there’s a risk at all scales,” Donald Swanson, a USGS volcanologist told The Washington Post.
Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) confirmed eruption activity has so far paused at all 15 volcanic fissures in Lanipuna Subdivision. However, hazardous fumes continue to be released. Residents of Leilani Estates are advised to monitor themselves amid the area’s increased levels of sulfur dioxide.
Photo by U.S. Geological Survey via Getty Images.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn a $200 statement credit after your first Delta purchase within the first three months. Offer ends 7/28/21.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles after spending $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months and a $200 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
- Limited Time Offer: Plus, get a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable 15.74%-24.74%. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
- Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees