Lava lake forms as Hawaii volcano erupts after 2-year break
HONOLULU (AP) - Lava rose more than 1 meter per hour in the deep crater of a Hawaii volcano that erupted over the weekend after a two-year hiatus, scientists said Tuesday.
The Kilauea volcano in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island gushed molten rock from at least two openings in its summit crater, the US Geological Survey said. A lava lake has formed that rises about 134 meters above the bottom of the crater.
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Since the eruption began on Sunday night, Kilauea has spewed out about 2 million gallons of lava (10 million cubic meters), enough to cover 13 acres. The lava was contained in the deep crater.
There is no threat of approaching people or covering property, as when Kilauea broke vents in the middle of a residential area in 2018 and destroyed more than 700 houses.
Still, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory has warned residents to beware of potentially high levels of volcanic gas, rockfalls, and explosions.
When it erupts, Kilauea tends to spit out large amounts of sulfur dioxide, which forms volcanic smog or vog when it mixes with oxygen, sunlight, and other gases in the air. The state health department warned residents to reduce their outdoor activities if they encounter volcanic smog.
Kilauea is one of the most active volcanoes in the world and has erupted about 50 times in the last century. It erupted almost continuously between 1983 and 2018. For the past decade of this eruption, there was a lava lake in its crater.
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