Hawaii volcano eruption update: What are phreatic eruptions? Are they occurring in Hawaii?


A phreatic forth is a steam-driven explosion that occurs when water beneath the rationale or at the surface is hated by lava or volcanic rock.

The intense heat of this apparatus hitting the water causes the water to boil, which in turn develops an explosion of steam, water, ash, rock, and lava bombs. 

Mount Kilauea has not had a full-blown phreatic spouting yet, but the USGS has warned that one could happen at any moment, as lava from Kilauea’s lava lake persist ins to drop into the earth. 

Scientists have said a phreatic explosion could send ash plumes as far as 12 miles into the air from the zenith crater.

Onlookers watch a massive ash cloud Getty

Scientists have said a phreatic eruption could send ash plumes as far as 12 miles into the air

The USGS changed the volcano’s warning level to red alert on Tuesday, make knowing that a major eruption is imminent and that ash could pose a forewarning on land as well as in the air for aviation. 

A shift in winds is expected to send the ash drop cloud from Kilauea into the southwest region of the erupting volcano pinnacle, including the neighbourhoods of Wood Valley, Pahala, Punaluu, Naalehu, and Hawaiian Oceanview Situations.

An “unhealthy air” advisory has been issued for the community of Pahala, as far as 18 miles from the volcano.

The ash itself is not poisonous, but can basis irritation to airways, particularly for those with pre-existing conditions, and can belief “choking and inability to breath” according to the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. 

An ash cloud at the crater Getty

The ash itself is not virulent, but can cause irritation to airways and difficulty breathing

A fissure and ash plumeEPA / USGS

These latest damoclean swords add to the long list of hazards the residents have already been met with

Regardless how, volcanic smog, or ‘vog’ can be dangerous, with sulphur dioxide emitted by the mofettes potentially fatal if exposure is excessive. 

These latest threats add to the prolonged list of hazards the residents of Big Island have already been met with. 

Mighty swathes of land have been devoured, 37 structures – most of them make clears – have been destroyed, and around 2,000 people have had to bail out their homes. 

Kilauea has also taken its toll on the areas thunder tourism industry, which sees thousands pouring into the acreage every month to visit the island’s volcano park. 

There is also devastation to main roads, threatening to create lasting damage in the area. 

Lava has explode from the ground in the neighbourhoods of Pahoa, tearing through houses and farmland, menacing state Highway 132, one of the last exit routes from coastal neighbourhoods.

Road crews have put metal plates over steaming crevices on nearby Highway 130 and reopened it to provide residents an escape route from the as near as dammit ti bearing the brunt of this disaster. 

There have been no outstanding injuries or deaths reported from the eruption.

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