Kilauea could erupt with 'once-in-a-century' explosion, geologists warn

Villagers look on as Mount Sinabung volcano spews thick volcanic ash in Karo Indonesia on Friday May 19

Villagers look on as Mount Sinabung volcano spews thick volcanic ash in Karo Indonesia on Friday May 19

NASA claims that the although the Kilauea is consistently releasing sulfur dioxide gas, in recent days there has been a significant increase in the amounts released, which likely stems from the creation of new fissures.

Kilauea, however, is a shield volcano, where basaltic lava flows nearly continuously out of a summit crater and other vents, building a flat dome. There are now 15 of the vents spread through the Leilani Estates and neighboring Lanipuna Gardens neighborhoods.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige said crews at a geothermal energy plant near the lava outbreak accelerated the removal of stored flammable fuel as a precaution on Thursday.

The Puna Geothermal Venture is owned by Nevada company Ormat Technologies.

During almost three weeks of activity, blocks weighing as much as 14 tons were blasted from the crater. It could also send pebbles shooting into the air several miles away, the agency said. The coffee farms on the Kona side of the island, which is more than 100 miles (160 kilometers) away from where lava is erupting.

Hawaii County Civil Defense officials urged residents in a community near Kilauea Volcano to be vigilant amid ongoing volcanic activity and hazardous emissions - and to be prepared to evacuated on short notice, CBS Honolulu affiliate KGMB reports. The resulting explosion can blast rock and ash for miles.

Hawaii tourism officials are hoping Kilauea's eruption won't deter travelers from visiting the state's largest island, even as geologists warn the volcano could soon shoot large boulders out of its summit. And once the lava drops below the water table, water hits rocks that are as hot as nearly 2,200 degrees and flashes into steam.

"The earthquakes that we get at volcanoes can tell us an very bad lot of what the magma is doing as it's moving through the rocks", Johnson told CBC News.

"We suspect it's a rapid process". "We know it is a distinct possibility".

No one lives in the immediate area of the summit.

Park visitors watch as an ash plume rises from the Halemaumau crater within the Kilauea volcano summit caldera at the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on May 9, 2018 in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii. "It's one of the best ways we can "see" what's going on". "Life and safety is what's most important".

Authorities ordered two subdivisions in the area to evacuate last week. Authorities went door-to-door in Lanipuna to get people out of their homes on Tuesday.

In a twist of irony, Leilani Estates had actually been developed for families who lost their homes in another community during a previous eruption in the 1980s. A resident saw the man leaving his house when he returned to retrieve personal belongings.

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