United States issues red alert for Hawaii volcanic eruption

Thursday, 17 May, 2018

Kilauea volcano has gobbled up lush landscape, destroyed houses and caused almost 2,000 people to flee their homes.

Hawaii's Kilauea volcano could have a major devastating eruption at "any time", the US Geographical Survey has said.

Ash and fiery projectiles exploding from the Kilauea volcano have forced Hawaii authorities to issue an aviation red alert warning pilots to steer clear of the erupting shield crater.

This week, Hawaii warned residents and airplanes to stay away after a plume of ash from the Kilauea volcano rose 12,000 feet into the air.

The ash is a new hazard to hit Hawaii's Big Island since the latest volcanic eruptions began.

A large part of the volcano is part of the national Park Khawaja-Volcanos.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory says its ash plume has risen as high as 12,000 feet above sea level. The new Volcanic Activity Notice issued by the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

On Monday, another fissure spewing lava and unhealthy gas opened up, and a crack in the Earth that emerged a day earlier was sending molten rock on a slow run for the ocean, officials said.

Hawaii transportation officials are working to reopen a highway that was closed along a 2-mile (3-kilometer) stretch over fears that cracks in the road could be related to lava fissure activity.

To date, at least 21 fissures have formed along a northeast-southwest line in the rift zone, most in the Leilani Estates neighborhood, which was evacuated more than two weeks ago.

For airplanes, not only does the ash reduce visibility, but also more importantly volcanic ash can wreak havoc on jet engines. But the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said Tuesday that there is no evidence suggesting an natural disaster that would generate a tsunami.

Kilauea is one of the world's most active volcanos and one of five on the island.

Almost two weeks after the fissures began to open up, geologists continued to watch Kilauea's main crater amid the possibility that a violent eruption was coming.