Explosion at Hawaii volcano spews ash as lava flows into sea

Hawaii volcano latest

An eruption at Kilauea summit jolted the area Wednesday with the force of a 5.4 magnitude quake and hurled an ash plume that reached 10,000 feet above sea level.

No one has died in the Hawaii eruption but some 600 homes have been swallowed by lava flows from Kilauea since May 3. As it falls into the ocean, the molten rock's extreme temperature is causing the water to explode when it's rapidly converted into steam. USGS scientists have been unable to determine when the eruptions will end. This asymmetry reflects the prevailing trade winds, with more lava piling up on the downwind side of the fountains.

A small explosion on the summit of Kilauea volcano has triggered an quake but there are no reports of damage.

It's possible a new fissure will open or vigorous flows could emerge from vents that have been inactive. Gas emissions from the fissure eruption and at the ocean entry continue to be very high.

"Venturing too close to an ocean entry on land or the ocean exposes you to flying debris from sudden explosive interaction between lava and water", the observatory said.


Fissure 8 continues to produce a large channelized flow that is entering the ocean at Kapoho Bay and producing a large laze plume, civil defense reported Sunday morning.

"Lava can't get hotter than where we are", Stovall said.

The eruption has also had a toll on the area's tourism industry, with many afraid to travel to the island.

About half of those homes were destroyed in the past few days.

The Big Island volcano has been erupting for more than a month, sending lava into neighborhoods from cracks in the ground and destroying hundreds of homes.

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