Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano Just Became Even More Dangerous
Over the weekend, massive lava flows from the Kilauea volcano surged over the southeast shores of the island into the Pacific, forming thick, toxic clouds known as “laze.”
Dr. Rick Knabb, an expert at The Weather Channel, told TPG that the dangerous mix of hydrochloric acid and fine slivers of glass is created when up to 2,000-degree lava reacts with the balmy 75-degree ocean waters.
“That temperature difference,” he explained, “causes a very rapid and explosive kind of reaction.”
According to Knabb, the breezy, easterly trade winds are carrying the laze plume “locally, to the southwest or the west-southwest.” The laze is not expected to interfere with aircraft, as it’s fairly low — but the noxious haze has already traveled some 15 miles along the shoreline.
As long as the lava continues spilling into the seawater, the laze plumes will continue forming, posing a continued threat to locals and people venturing too near the clouds.
“It’s very dangerous to be up close,” said Knabb. “Just breathing [the laze] could cause lung damage, [and] also tremendous eye and skin irritation. It’s an amazing sight, but very nasty.”
Kilauea’s continued eruption has become increasingly serious. On Friday evening, a brief explosion from the volcano launched ash up to 10,000 feet in the air, according to the US Geological Survey. (Last week, an eruption created a wall of smoke and ash 12,000-feet high.)
Meanwhile, spattering lava continues to fountain from multiple active fissures, and volcanic gas emissions are being carried downwind. Volcanic fog, or “vog,” is also an ongoing issue — as is the continued emission of sulfur dioxide gas.
At this time, Hawaiian Airlines’ travel waiver remains in effect for flights to and from either Hilo (ITC) or Kona (KOA) until May 31.
Featured image by Mario Tama/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