Geologist warn of possible explosive event at Hawaii volcano

Published 7:53 am Thursday, May 10, 2018

PAHOA, Hawaii — Geologists warned Wednesday that Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano could erupt explosively and send boulders, rocks and ash into the air around its summit in the coming weeks.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the risk will rise if the lava drops below the groundwater level beneath the summit’s caldera.

An influx of water inside could cause steam-driven explosions. There’s also potential for ash, steam and sulfur dioxide emissions.

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Kilauea is one of the world’s most active volcanoes.

It has destroyed 36 structures since it began releasing lava into fissures that opened in a Big Island residential neighborhood last week.

Since the eruptions began, 14 such fissures have opened in a subdivision and destroyed dozens of structures, including 26 homes.