Published: Fri, May 18, 2018
World | By Camille Rivera

Hawaii volcano spews 'microwave-sized' rocks

Hawaii volcano spews 'microwave-sized' rocks

Here's the latest for Thursday, May 17th: Robert Mueller is one year into the Russian Federation probe; President Donald Trump is casting doubt on trade agreement with China; Congo's Ebola outbreak is spreading; Hawaii's Kilauea volcano erupted from summit. About 20 fissures opened in communities along the volcano's eastern slopes, prompting evacuations of almost 2,000 residents and engulfing dozens of homes in lava.

"Not your average wake-up call at the Kilauea Volcano summit", the U.S. Geological Survey said of the 4:17 a.m. blast that lasted several minutes.

Across the Big Island, home to 200,000 residents, people were encouraged to avoid driving in ashfall areas, as the powdered rock makes roads slippery, and not go outdoors unless necessary.

Some Big Island residents had feared "the big one" after Kilauea shot anvil-sized "ballistic blocks" into the visitors' vehicle park on Wednesday and was rocked by earthquakes that damaged buildings and cracked roads in the park that was closed last week.

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Time lapse images show ash plume rising from the Kilauea volcano on the Big Island.

Residents who live in a nearby town reported light amounts of ash falling following the eruption. The state of Hawaii continues to be open for business.

"Tall but small", she said of Thursday's plume.

Kilauea has been erupting now for two weeks but Thursday's episode saw its highest ash plume yet.

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The lava lake had drained from the summit crater a number of the months previous - the scenario now being repeated.

Even so, the county issued guidance to the community, noting that "The danger from this eruption is ash fallout", and added that residents need to protect themselves from the fallout.

But a massive explosion in 1790 killed hundreds of people hit by molten volcanic debris and steam. He said he closely followed the eruption coverage the first few days, but has since tapered off. Shield volcanoes like Kīlauea produce a runny, basaltic lava that does not tend to erupt as dramatically as steep stratovolcanos like Mount St. Helens.

Geologists say the latest eruptions are being caused by lava levels substantially draining at the summit.

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Eruptions involving magma offer warning signs for a potential evacuation, including inflation of the surrounding ground, seismic activity caused as rocks break and changes in the gases being vented.

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