Scientists Are Left Unsure Of What Is Next For Hawaii’s Latest Volcanic Eruptions
The 4 thousand foot tall volcano that has forced Hawaiians to evacuate their neighborhoods while destroying more than 80 homes has now fallen silent. Volcanists, however, speculate that this is only temporary.
Late April was when Kilauea began threatening the residents of Leilani Estates after a series of earthquakes rattled the big island. Kilauea’s toxic fumes and spreading lava has since caused the evacuation of more than 1,000 residents in the southern region of Puna. It is now the beginning of June and scientists have found that loose rocks from the series of explosions have fallen back into the opening of the volcano. These rocks are blocking further lava from escaping the opening of the vent. Scientists, however, are not convinced that the rocky debris will continue to suppress the volcano’s eruptions.
“It’s possible that new explosions will blast through the rubble at the bottom of the vent,” U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist Kyle Anderson told Reuters, “ and these may or may not be larger than previous explosions.”
Anderson added, “It’s also possible that the vent could become permanently blocked, ending the explosions entirely.”
Kilauea may be inactive for now, but it has left Leilani Estates residents with nearly 2 dozen volcanic fissures still leaking molten rock and toxic gases. While Puna sits in waiting to learn of what its future holds, the rest of the Big Island continues with its touristic sightseeing and adventures. All travels to or near the active volcano of Kilauea, however, are strictly prohibited.