USGS scientists said they began detecting activity early Wednesday morning, inside the perimeter of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and away from homes.
The Kilauea volcano in the US archipelago of Hawaii, one of the most active on the planet, erupted on Wednesday, the US Geological Survey said.
Images show that cracks have appeared in the heart of the volcano, which regularly wakes up, with clumps of molten lava gushing from the lake at the bottom of the crater. The vulcanologists called this eruption “dynamic”.
“Elevated levels of volcanic gases are the primary concern because this risk can have effects over a long distance due to winds,” noted the USGS.
A visible mist
The sulfur dioxide released by the volcano “will have a reaction in the atmosphere and create a visible haze called vog (volcanic smog)” which will spread beyond Kilauea.
This “vog” can cause breathing difficulties for people and animals and can also affect crops, the US agency warned.
She also warned of “Pele’s hair”, very fine filaments of black hardened lava that can irritate skin and cause eye problems named after the Hawaiian goddess of fire.
This eruption comes several months after that of Mauna Loa, the largest volcano in the world which woke up at the end of 2022 after more than forty years of sleep. Lava fountains reaching up to sixty meters in height poured rivers of molten rock down the sides of the volcano.
Kilauea, a so-called “shield” volcano because it is flat, is smaller but much more active than Mauna Loa. Erupting almost continuously between 1983 and 2019, it is one of six active volcanoes in the Hawaiian archipelago.
Source: BFM TV