Lava lake forms as Hawaii volcano erupts after 2-year break

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HONOLULU (AP) – Lava was rising more than 1 meter per hour in the deep crater of a Hawaii volcano that began to erupt over the weekend after a two-year hiatus, scientists said Tuesday.

The Kilauea volcano in Hawaii’s Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island was gushing out of molten rock from at least two vents inside its summit crater, the US Geological Survey said. A lava lake formed, rising about 134 meters (440 feet) from the crater floor.

Since the eruption began on Sunday evening, Kilauea has spat out some 2 billion gallons of lava (10 million cubic meters), enough to cover 13 hectares. The lava was contained inside the deep crater.

Getting close to people or covering up properties isn’t threatening, like when Kilauea blew vents in the middle of a residential neighborhood in 2018 and destroyed more than 700 homes.

Still, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory has warned residents to be wary of potentially high levels of volcanic gas, falling rocks and explosions.

During an eruption, Kilauea tends to spit out large volumes of sulfur dioxide, which forms volcanic smog, or vog, when it mixes with oxygen, sunlight, and other gases. in the air. The State Department of Health has warned residents to cut back on their outdoor activities if they encounter volcanic smog conditions.

Kilauea is one of the most active volcanoes in the world, having erupted some 50 times over the past century. Between 1983 and 2018, it erupted almost continuously. There was a lava lake in its crater during the last decade of this eruption.

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