Kilauea: Is The World's Longest Erupting Volcano Primed For A Big One

Code red alert issued for Hawaii and and residents are forced to evacuate their homes as lava continues to spew on the big island and is only getting worse as more fissures continue to open.

The U.S. Geological Survey said that a recent lowering of the lava lake at the volcano's Halemaumau crater has increased the potential for explosive eruptions at the volcano.  Authorities confirm that a 20th fissure has opened.

An explosive eruption is a steam-driven eruption that occurs when the level of magma drops below the level of the water table and then heated by magma, lava, hot rock and volcanic deposits.  The intense heat of the material may cause the water to boil and flash to steam, which can generate an explosion of steam, water, ash, blocks and bombs.

Not only do residents have to worry about the dangers of the bubbling, scalding-hot lava from the volcano itself, but are also now enduring threats from both Vog (Volcanic Smog) and volcanic ashfall.  Vog is produced when the noxious sulfur dioxide gas and other air pollutants from volcanoes react with oxygen, atmospheric moisture and sunlight, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

 

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