HAWAII — Residents on the Big Island face several threats Monday from Kilauea: In addition to the possibility of more eruptions, lava is oozing into the ocean, sending hydrochloric acid and volcanic glass particles into the air.
That’s producing laze, a dangerous mix of lava and haze, which is adding to the ongoing challenges. Levels of sulfur dioxide have tripled in emissions. And Kilauea Volcano’s summit had several small ash emissions on Sunday, releasing plumes of gas and billowing steam.
Over the weekend, a man sitting on his porch was hit in the leg by a lava bomb, leaving him seriously hurt, according to Hawaii County Civil Defense Administrator Talmadge Magno. It’s the first serious injury reported since the volcano began erupting May 3.
“I heard the injury was quite bad,” Magno told Saturday.
The United States Geological Survey warned residents to remain alert.
The USGS that the activity may become more explosive at any time, increasing the intensity of ash production and producing ballistic projectiles very near the vent. “Communities downwind should be prepared for ashfall as long as this activity continues,” he said.
The Kilauea volcano erupted at least 2 times this weekend — at one point launching a cloud of ash up to 10,000 feet high.
“Additional explosions possible at any time,” according to the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.
The Lava is Very Dynamic and Dangerous
The threat from laze began after lava crossed Highway 137 late Saturday night and entered the Pacific Ocean, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said. This has cut off parts of the road, a critical access point, which affects thousands of residents, reported CNN News.
Officials are warning people to stay away from areas where lava meets the ocean, as laze can cause lung, eye and skin irritation.