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Federal Geologists: Hawaii Volcano Could Have Explosive Eruption

Federal Geologists: Hawaii Volcano Could Have Explosive Eruption

Amber Makuakane Kane, 37, a teacher and single mother of two, told the Associated Press her three-bedroom house in Leilani Estates was destroyed by lava.

"If an explosion happens, there's a risk at all scales", said Donald Swanson, a USGS volcanologist.

Explosive eruptions could kick off if the lava lake in Kilauea's crater falls to the level of groundwater, causing an influx of water to create steam-driven explosions, the USGS said.

Ash column rises from the Overlook crater at the summit of KÄ«lauea Volcano.

Together with the so-called ballistic blocks, which might be thrown round 0.6 miles away, specialists are warning that the volcano might spray pebble-sized stones miles round in addition to mud close by cities with ash. This colourless gas, which smells like burnt matches, is not only hazardous on its own - potentially irritating the skin, eyes, nose and throat of anyone coming into contact with it and breathing it in - but it is also the main component in two other hazards, volcanic smog and acid rain.

Along with lava and volcanic ash spewing from the ground, fissures are emitting high levels of toxic Sulphur gases that react with oxygen, moisture and sunlight.

Those fumes are called "vog" - or volcanic fog. The massive sulfur dioxide has been seen in the footages taken from the Terra Satellite NASA. He said the gas smells like rotten eggs and mentioned that the air is safe as long as the wind is blowing in the opposite direction.

The estimated cost to protect residents over the next 30 days is expected to exceed $2.9 million, according to the governor's office.

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Volcanic vents and lava flows have destroyed 36 structures since Kilauea erupted on Thursday. Gov. David Ige this afternoon issued an emergency proclamation to address concerns related to the geothermal energy plant, including creating a team to review and assess the existing PGV Emergency Response Plan and "develop a specific mission strategy deemed appropriate to mitigate potential impacts from lava".

He said the Puna Geothermal Venture plant has about 50,000 gallons of pentane on site.

Officials expect to finish removing the gas by Thursday.

Aluminum roofing material lays on the foundation of a home that was engulfed by lava along Leilani Avenue in the Puna District of the Big Island. But some had ignored the order and stayed to watch over their property.

"For the most part if you have a homeowners fire policy, if your home catches fire and burns down, then its covered under the fire loss", Ito said. There was no sign of holdouts in Lanipuna afterward, he said.

There are no inhabited areas within half a mile of Kilauea's summit; the primary risk would be to visitors entering the area, which is home to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. This one is on the edge of the Lanipuna Gardens subdivision just east of Leilani Estates. Her parents also live in Leilani Estates.

Fourteen fissures have opened since Kilauea started spraying fountains of lava up to 300 feet. It predominantly blows off basaltic lava in effusive eruptions that flow into the ocean but occasionally experiences more explosive events.

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