Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
World News | By Joan Terry

Hawaii volcano 'may become more explosive' at any time

Hawaii volcano 'may become more explosive' at any time

It contains Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, two-thirds of which remain closed.

Given that Hawaii is a popular golf vacation destination, it is yet to be seen how many courses will be damaged once the eruption is complete.

The U.S. Geological Survey upgraded the aviation warning for Kilauea from orange to red Tuesday afternoon, saying ash from the Halemaumau crater had been rising almost continuously and in increased intensity.

Kilauea (translated from Hawaiian - "spewing, much spreading or pouring) is an active volcano on the island of Hawaii".

Kilauea volcano has gobbled up lush landscape, destroyed houses and caused almost 2,000 people to flee their homes. The warning was raised to red - the highest threat level for aircraft - from the previous orange level (when volcanic ash emissions into the air are less serious) on Tuesday.

The Hawaiian County Civil Defense Agency said rock falls and gas explosions from one of the craters on Kilauea had caused the ash plume which was drifting downwind to the southwest. It means a major volcanic eruption is imminent or underway.

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Coombs said the gas is coming out of 21 fissures, or cracks in the ground, caused by the volcano. Fissure 17, which had put out a flow more than a mile toward the ocean, has not advanced since Tuesday, they said.

Officials have confirmed 26 homes have now been destroyed by lava in Leilani Estates.

Residents on parts of the Big Island have been scrambling to react to increased volcanic activity on Kilauea for almost three weeks now, ever since the floor of the Puu Oo Crater, on the volcano's East Rift Zone, collapsed on April 30.

"According to the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory there is no geologic evidence for an tsunami-generating quake at this time".

CNN's Stephanie Elam said her heart started pounding as she approached one fissure.

The lava lake in the crater has been dropping since May 2, which increases the chances for a phreatic explosion.

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