USGS: “Potential for Explosive Eruptions” Within the Next Few Weeks


The United States Geological Survey, or USGS, released a dire warning to residents on the Big Island of Hawaii on Wednesday. This warning states that “the steady lowering of the lava lake in “Overlook crater” within Halemaʻumaʻu at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano has raised the potential for explosive eruptions in the coming weeks.”

The organization then states, “If the lava column drops to the level of groundwater beneath Kīlauea Caldera, influx of water into the conduit could cause steam-driven explosions.” The key point is that it is uncertain whether explosive activity will occur, how large the explosions could be, and how long the possible explosive activity could continue.



Volcanic Activity Summary:



Here’s the full statement from USGS in the ‘HVO/USGS Volcanic Activity Notice’: 

The steady lowering of the lava lake in “Overlook crater” within Halemaʻumaʻu at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano has raised the potential for explosive eruptions in the coming weeks. If the lava column drops to the level of groundwater beneath Kīlauea Caldera, influx of water into the conduit could cause steam-driven explosions. 

Debris expelled during such explosions could impact the area surrounding Halemaʻumaʻu and the Kīlauea summit. At this time, we cannot say with certainty that explosive activity will occur, how large the explosions could be, or how long such explosive activity could continue.

Residents of the Kīlauea summit area should learn about the hazards of ashfall, stay informed of the status of the volcano and area closures, and review family and business emergency plans.

Resource on volcanic ash hazards:USGS
 
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