Hawaii volcano update: 270 earthquakes in ONE day – latest pictures and USGS quake map

Sunday, May 27, 2018
By Paul Martin

MOUNT Kilauea is showing no signs of letting up, as Big Island continues to feel the destructive fury of the volcano. With 270 earthquakes recorded yesterday in just 24 hours, here is the latest on Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano.

By KATE WHITFIELD
Express.co.uk
Sun, May 27, 2018

National Weather Service meteorologist John Bravender said that the flurry of earthquakes caused four massive explosions from the volcano’s summit, sending ash clouds up to 4,500 metres into the atmosphere.

Winds are set to shift on Monday and Tuesday, causing higher concentrations of ash and volcanic smog – ‘vog’ – that will spread west and northwest to affect more populated areas, Bravender said.

U.S. Marine Corps and National Guard helicopters are on standby for an air evacuation near Highway 130, the last exit route for coastal residents.

Cracks in the highway are being monitored for hydrogen sulphide gas emissions which would indicate magma was rising towards the surface and new fissures opening.

Lava from the volcano continues to drain underground from the main summit’s lava lake, sinking into the fissures which spread out like fingers and explode through cracks in the earth.

The volume of lava being pushed out of the fissures is now forming massive 30-metre high cinder cones – a steep conical hill of volcanic matter.

Magma continues to spew from these mounds, filling up in pools at the top and overflowing, causing streams of viscous lava to flow across swathes of land, devouring everything in its path.

US Geological Survey geologist Wendy Stovall said: “It’s this tide of lava that rises up and overflows itself on the edges and keeps rising and progressing forward.”

The USGS tweeted earlier that a flow of lava has once again entered the Puna Geothermal Venture (PGV) – a geothermal plant which provides a quarter of Big Island’s electricity.

The plant was thought to be out of the line of danger, but fresh concerns have been raised as fissures 21 and 7, near the plant, burst open with fresh lava again yesterday.

Authorities have shut down the plant, moved approximately 50,000 gallons of flammable chemical pentane and deactivated wells that tap into steam and gas deep in the Earth’s core.

However, lava has never engulfed a geothermal plant anywhere in the world before and the potential threat is unknown.

Residents fear an explosive emission of deadly hydrogen sulphide and other gases should wells be ruptured or penetrated by lava.

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