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Old 05-12-2018, 11:07 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Kilauea Readies To Roar!

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-h...-idUSKBN1IC27J

MAY 11, 2018 / 12:40 PM / UPDATED 5 HOURS AGO
Hawaii braces for worse lava flows from erupting volcano
Terray Sylvester

Quote:
PAHOA, Hawaii (Reuters) - More destructive lava flows could soon hit Hawaii’s Big Island as the Kilauea volcano erupts, posing a greater threat than oozing magma that has so far destroyed dozens of homes and forced thousands to evacuate, scientists said.

As a lava lake at Kilauea’s summit drains inside the volcano, magma is running underground. It could burst to the surface as large, fast-moving and intensely hot lava flows and produce higher levels of toxic gases, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientist-in-charge Tina Neal said.

“What will take a turn for the worse in terms of hazard is if hotter, fresher magma makes it to the surface, and that could be what is coming,” Neal told a conference call on Friday. “Once a new batch of hotter, gassier magma makes it to the surface we might see larger, higher eruption rates.”

Fifteen large cracks or fissures have opened on the eastern flank of Kilauea since the volcano erupted eight days ago. The volcanic vents have oozed relatively cool, sluggish magma left over from a similar event in 1955. Fresher magma could now emerge behind it.

In addition, Kilauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes, threatens to begin a series of explosive eruptions within days or weeks that could form huge clouds of volcanic smog, or vog, and hurl boulders as big as small cars.

Geologists expect new lava outbreaks in or around the hard-hit Leilani Estates area in the southeastern Puna district, about 20 miles (32 km) south of Hilo, where 27 homes have been destroyed and all 1,900 residents have been evacuated.

Local residents got a text message alert at 11 a.m. on Friday warning them they could have little or no time to evacuate in the event of future eruptions.

“We are telling people to plan for the worst. They should have a Plan A, a Plan B and a Plan C,” said Roann Okomura, a county official who is helping run one of the shelters set up for evacuees.

“I GOTTA GET OUT OF HERE”
Ron Peters, 59, knew it was time to leave his home in the Opihikao community, 2.6 miles from Leilani Estates, when fruit trees and other vegetation began to die in the rotten-egg-smelling clouds of sulfur-dioxide gas.

“When you start seeing ferns go brown overnight, it’s like, ‘Wow, I gotta get out of here,’” said Peters, sitting at a Red Cross evacuation center at a sports center in nearby Pahoa.

His wife refused to leave and stayed to care for their dogs and chickens.

He went back for her on Thursday, fearing she and the animals would be dead. One of the dogs was having trouble moving but his wife was still alive. He set his chickens free.

“The gas fumes were just too much,” he said, sitting at a baseball diamond with his dogs tied beside him.

While locals contend with lava and gas on the ground, explosions at Kilauea’s summit some 25 miles (40 km) to the west were dusting communities with ash that irritated eyes and breathing.

South of Leilani Estates, in the Kalapana-Seaview neighborhood, residents are on high alert as the air quality is low and there are very few ways out of the area if an evacuation is ordered.

“There are some pretty level-headed, balanced people here who are trying to lead normal lives. But we also don’t want to be stupid,” said Cindy Hartman, 68, who lives in the Kalapana-Seaview neighborhood.

Volcanic smog may be blowing hundreds of miles from Kilauea, with people on the streets of state capital Honolulu, around 210 miles (340 km) northwest on the island of Oahu, complaining it was “very voggy” on Friday.
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Old 05-12-2018, 11:14 AM   #2 (permalink)
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https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news...-miles-n873316


Hawaii's Kilauea volcano could spew boulders the size of refrigerators for miles
Experts warn residents to steer clear: "You don't want to be underneath anything that weighs 10 tons when it's coming out at 120 mph."
by Associated Press / May.11.2018 / 8:58 AM ET / Updated May.11.2018 / 9:20 AM ET

Quote:
PAHOA, Hawaii — If Hawaii's Kilauea volcano blows its top in the coming days or weeks, as experts fear, it could hurl ash and boulders the size of refrigerators miles into the air, shutting down airline traffic and endangering lives in all directions, scientists say.

"If it goes up, it will come down," said Charles Mandeville, volcano hazards coordinator for the U.S. Geological Survey. "You don't want to be underneath anything that weighs 10 tons when it's coming out at 120 mph."

The volcano has sputtered lava for a week, forcing around 2,000 residents to evacuate, and destroying some two dozen homes and threatening a geothermal plant.

Scientists note that as long as people stay out of closed areas of a national park around the volcano, the possible explosion won't be deadly.

But the added threat of an explosive eruption could ground planes at one of the Big Island's two major airports and pose other dangers. The national park around the volcano announced that it would close indefinitely starting 10 p.m. Thursday because of the risks.

If an explosion does happen, a summit blast could also release steam and sulfur dioxide gas.

Kilauea has destroyed 36 structures — including 26 homes — since May 3, when it began releasing lava from vents about 25 miles east of the summit crater. Fifteen of the vents are now spread through the Leilani Estates and 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 plant had about 50,000 gallons of pentane.

No one lives in the immediate area of the summit but communities up to two miles away could be showered by pea-size fragments or dusted with nontoxic ash, said Tina Neal, scientist-in-charge at the Hawaii Volcano Observatory.

The problem is the lava lake at the summit of Kilauea is draining fast, about 6.5 feet per hour, Mandeville said.

In little more than a week, the top of the lava lake has gone from spilling over the crater to almost 970 feet below the surface as of Thursday morning, Mandeville said. The lava levels in the lake are dropping because lava is spewing out of cracks elsewhere in the mountain, lowering the pressure that kept the lava lake filled.

"This is a huge change. This is three football fields going down," Mandeville said.

The fear is that it will go below the underground water table — another 1,000 feet further down — and that would trigger a chain of events that could lead to a "very violent" steam explosion, Mandeville said.

At the current rate of change, that is about six or seven days away.

Once the lava drops, rocks that had been superheated could fall into the lava tube. And once the lava drops below the water table, water hits rocks that are as hot as almost 2,200 degrees and flashes into steam. When the water hits the lava, it also steams. And the dropped rocks hold that steam in until it blows.

A similar 1924 explosion threw pulverized rock, ash and steam as high as 5.4 miles into the sky, for a couple of weeks. If another blast happens, the danger zone could extend about 3 miles around the summit, land all inside the national park, Mandeville said.

The small, aptly named town of Volcano, Hawaii, population 2,500, is about three miles from the summit.

Avani Love, 29, moved to the Big Island about a month ago from Maui with her four children. They evacuated their home on May 3, and only found out it was destroyed when a relative went back to get her personal belongings.

While saying she's sad to have lost her home, she also feels a sense of renewal brought on by Pele, the Hawaiian volcano goddess, to correct overpopulation of the island.

"Everyone comes here," she said. "When you have that, it's Pele's way of clearing house and restoring the place. There's beauty and also darkness."
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Old 06-01-2018, 12:44 AM   #3 (permalink)
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https://www.reuters.com/article/us-h...-idUSKCN1IX3D8

MAY 31, 2018 / 9:03 PM
Jolyn Rosa

Quote:
HONOLULU (Reuters) - The Hawaii community hardest hit by the Kilauea Volcano was ordered sealed off under a strict new mandatory evacuation on Thursday as the eruption marked its fourth week with no end in sight.

The Big Island’s mayor, Harry Kim, declared a roughly 17-block swath of the lava-stricken Leilani Estates subdivision off-limits indefinitely and gave any residents remaining there 24 hours to leave or face possible arrest.

The mandatory evacuation zone lies within a slightly larger area that was already under a voluntary evacuation and curfew.

The latest order was announced a day after police arrested a 62-year-old Leilani Estates resident who fired a handgun over the head of a younger man from the same community, apparently believing his neighbor was an intruder or looter.

The confrontation on Tuesday was recorded on cell phone video that later went viral.

But the mandatory evacuation was “decided prior to that incident,” said David Mace, a spokesman for the Federal Emergency Management Agency currently assigned to the Hawaii County Civil Defense authority.

Civil defense officials have previously said about 2,000 residents in and around Leilani Estates were displaced at the outset of the current eruption, which began on May 3.

But the total number of evacuees was estimated to have risen to about 2,500 after authorities ushered residents from the nearby Kapoho area as a precaution on Wednesday, as a lava flow threatened to cut off a key access road.

At least 75 homes — most of them in Leilani Estates — have been devoured by streams of red-hot molten rock creeping from about two dozen large volcanic vents, or fissures, that have opened in the ground since Kilauea rumbled back to life four weeks ago. Lava flows also have knocked out power and telephone lines in the region, disrupting communications.

Besides spouting fountains of lava around the clock, the fissures have released high levels of toxic sulfur dioxide gas on a near constant basis, posing an ongoing health hazard. Meanwhile, the main summit crater has periodically erupted in clouds of volcanic ash that create breathing difficulties and other problems for residents living downwind.

The heightened volcanic activity has been accompanied by frequent earthquakes, as magma — the term for lava before it reaches the surface — pushes its way up from deep inside the earth and exerts tremendous force underground.

After a month of continual eruptions at Kilauea’s summit and along its eastern flank, geologists say they have no idea how much longer it will last.

“There’s no sign we’re getting that anything is going to slow down at the moment,” Wendy STOVL, a vulcanologist for the U.S. Geological Survey, told reporters on a conference call on Thursday. “We don’t see any changes occurring.”

The island’s mayor on Wednesday renewed an emergency proclamation for 60 more days, allowing construction of temporary shelters and other relief projects to proceed on an expedited basis, without reviews and permits normally required.

The month-old eruption of Kilauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes, followed an eruption cycle that had continued almost nonstop for 35 years.

Stovall said geologists now believe the latest upheaval should be classified as a separate volcanic event, though an official determination has yet to be made.
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Old 06-04-2018, 11:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
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FUEGO ERUPTS!

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-g...KCN1J01SU?il=0

JUNE 4, 2018 / 8:52 AM / UPDATED 5 MINUTES AGO
Guatemalan families continue search for victims after volcano eruption
Luis Echeverria, Sofia Menchu

Quote:
EL RODEO, GUATEMALA (Reuters) - The death toll from a volcanic eruption in Guatemala rose to 65 on Monday as family members desperately searched for the missing in makeshift morgues and on streets blanketed with ash.

Guatemala’s national disaster agency, CONRED, increased the death toll as more bodies were pulled from the debris around the village of El Rodeo, which was hard hit by the eruption. Just a fraction of the victims have been identified so far.

At a makeshift morgue in the city of Escuintla, about 30 km (18.6 miles) from the explosion, distraught family members came to search for their relatives among the dead.

Francisco Quiche, a 46-year-old welder, gave a blood sample to try to identify his son’s body, though he already knew his son’s fate.

After evacuating the town of El Rodeo with his family, he returned to search for his son and daughter-in-law. Peering through a hole in the wall of his son’s home, Quiche saw the boy’s body. He fears his daughter-in-law is dead as well.

“We had time to leave, thank God, but I am very sorry for the loss of my son and my daughter in law,” he said through tears. “My son was just 22 years old, the same as my daughter-in-law, who was expecting a baby.”

The eruption of Fuego - Spanish for “fire” - on Sunday was the biggest in more than four decades, forcing the closure of Guatemala’s main international airport and dumping ash on thousands of acres (hectares) of coffee farms on the volcano’s slopes.

The task of retrieving bodies on Monday was hindered by another eruption and an apparent landslide on the southern slopes of Fuego triggered fresh evacuations. Later in the afternoon, heavy rains forced rescuers to abandon the search in El Rodeo until the next morning, a spokesman for CONRED said.

Elsewhere, the process of mourning had begun. Local television footage showed residents of villages walking through the streets, caskets hoisted on their shoulders.

Structures and trees at the base of the Fuego volcano were completely coated in brown and gray.

Armed soldiers donning blue masks kept watch at a badly affected neighborhood that had been cordoned off, Reuters photos showed. As late as Monday afternoon, the volcano continued expelling a dark cloud of gases and rocks.

Fuego, one of several active volcanoes out of 34 in the Central American country, is near the colonial city of Antigua, a UNESCO world heritage site that has survived several volcanic eruptions. The latest activity is mostly on the far side of the volcano, facing the Pacific coast.

The eruption on Sunday sent columns of ash and smoke 6.2 miles (10 km) into the sky, dusting several regions with ash. More than 3,200 people have been evacuated, CONRED said.

CONRED shared a photo showing the flows of gas and mud sweeping down a mountainside and across a broad valley, engulfing a small village.

“The landscape on the volcano is totally changed, everything is totally destroyed,” government volcanologist Gustavo Chigna said on local radio.

The agency also launched an online registry of missing people.

The eruption showered sand and ash on coffee plants across as much as 6,890 acres (2,788 hectares), including close to the volcano’s cone, causing an estimated loss of 0.91 percent of Guatemala’s coffee production, the country’s national coffee association said.

In some areas, rain rinsed ash off the leaves, and the full extent of the damage was not yet clear, the association said.
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Old 06-04-2018, 11:48 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The Pacific plate has been pretty active as of late. Since Kilauea has been going strong for the past few weeks makes me wonder what’s going on down there. The ring of fire and the Kilauea hot plate must have some connections.
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Old 06-05-2018, 12:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
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https://www.forbes.com/sites/trevorn.../#e994f0f71c60



JUN 5, 2018 @ 12:02 PM
The Real Reason Why Guatemala's Volcano Is So Much Deadlier Than Hawaii's Volcano
Trevor Nace , CONTRIBUTOR

Quote:
Despite Hawaii's volcano erupting continuously for a month, Guatemala's recent volcano eruption was much more deadly, with death tolls reaching 69 and growing. What is it about the two volcanoes that make their eruptions so uniquely different?

You've likely seen in the news the rivers and fountains of lava coming out of Kilauea over the past month, slowly overtaking homes, roads, and other structures. Compare this with the explosive style eruption of Guatemala's Fuego Volcano and you may be wondering why the two erupt so differently and are destructive in their own ways.

The answer lies in the composition of the two volcanos. Hawaii's Kilauea volcano is a massive shield volcano, as are the rest of the Hawaiian Islands. The big island of Hawaii is the largest mountain on Earth from base to peak, most of it obscured underneath the Pacific Ocean.


These broad, low angle volcanoes erupt mafic lava with low viscosity, this low viscosity is due to a relatively low silicate concentration in the magma. Mafic rocks are rich in iron and magnesium, making the rocks dark in color. The low viscosity of Kilauea's lava means it readily releases trapped gases within the lava and runs like a river down slopes.

Compare this with Guatemala's Fuego Volcano, a stratovolcano which erupts a more felsic lava with higher silicate concentrations and much higher viscosity. Felsic lava, with high concentrations of silica and feldspar, are very viscous. This means the lava doesn't allow the gas bubbles trapped in the lava to escape easily. While within the magma chamber, the gaseous lava builds up pressure until it erupts.

In scenarios like this, as the volcano begins to erupt, it suddenly releases the overlying pressure on the lava, allowing the gas to expand. This reduces the overall density of the lava and causes more gas to expand. The positive feedback scenario leads to an explosive eruption, where gases that were trapped in the high viscosity lava are suddenly released, shooting rocks, ash, and lava high into the air.

Guatemala's Fuego Volcano (aptly named Fire Volcano) built up enough pressure to suddenly release a lethal combination of loose rock, volcanic ash, lava, boulders, etc. This sudden and explosive eruption didn't allow Guatemala as much time as Hawaii's volcano eruption to respond and prepare. Unfortunately, that's why we often find stratovolcano eruptions to be much deadlier than shield volcano eruptions. Combined with the steep slopes and high rainfall in Guatemala, mud, and rock is easily swept down slopes only to destroy more homes and threaten more lives.

While it may not seem like a blessing that Hawaii's volcano nearly continuously erupts, the fact that it does prevents a build-up of pressures within the magma chambers and prevents the type of eruption seen in Guatemala. This is another reason monitoring of such volcanoes is vital and for locals and experts to understand the unique differences in the volcanoes they live nearby.
Trevor Nace is a PhD geologist, founder of Science Trends, Forbes contributor, and explorer. Follow his journey @trevornace.
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