The gates of hell have opened in Hawaii, as lava from Kilauea has reached the ocean. Officials have warned people to stay away from the eruption zone because new dangers have developed.
The Kilauea eruption has reached a dangerous new phase as lava from the volcano pours into the sea. The lava is reacting with seawater to create acidic clouds of gas which for now have remained offshore. If winds change direction, these toxic clouds could blanket the coast, sending people running for safety.
In addition to these gasses, there is also ‘laze,’ which is a volcanic form of haze. Laze is formed by sulfur dioxide emissions out of volcanic vents. These gasses are corrosive, much like battery acid.
Ash from the volcano is just as deadly. Ash is made mostly of fine, crystallized particles of glass which if inhaled can shred a person’s lungs from the inside. Worse still, the ash turns into a concrete-like substance when it comes into contact with moisture. Ash inhalation causes death by suffocation.
The lava itself is perhaps the most captivating danger, attracting onlookers who want to get as close as they can to the sticky, molten rock. Lava is becoming a greater danger because the speed of the flows has increased as “fresher” lava has now come to the surface. The original, slow, sticky lava was left over from an eruption in 1955. With the old lava purged, the way is now open for fresher, more liquid lava which moves fast. Lave is presently moving at a rate of about 300 years per hour.
That speed is dangerous because it is still slow enough for people to walk away from it. Yet, dangers are plentiful next to the lava, including splashing, outgassing, and even the occasional lava bomb, which are rocks thrown from the volcano and its fissures. At least one person has been hit in the leg with a lava bomb, and was taken to the hospital. Their condition has not been updated.
Officials are trying to keep people at bay, but they cannot be everywhere at once. Some locals have still not evacuated the area.
Dozens of homes have been evacuated and several have been consumed by lava flows and fissures which opened in the middle of a residential neighborhood.
Images of the area look like a glimpse into hell but have proved too enticing for photographers. At least one man was spotted standing close to a river of lava wearing a tee shirt, shorts and flip-flops.
Experts do not know how much longer the eruption will last.
Edited and Posted By Marshall Connolly (Catholic Online)
5/21/2018 (3 days ago)