Written by Staff Writer
17 May, 2018 | 6:54 pm
REUTERS – “Ballistic blocks” the size of microwave ovens shot from Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano on Wednesday (May 16) in what may be the start of explosive eruptions that could spew huge ash plumes and hurl smaller rocks for miles (km), the U.S. Geological Survey said.
Such eruptions, last seen nearly a century ago, have been a looming threat since Kilauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes, erupted nearly two weeks ago.
Explosions in Kilauea’s crater sparked an aviation red alert due to risks the ash plume could blow into aircraft routes and damage jet engines.
More explosions are expected and may be more powerful, the USGS warned. These steam-driven blasts could send a 20,000-foot ash plume out of the crater, hurling 10-12 ton boulders up to half a mile and scatter pebble-sized rocks over 12 miles, the USGS has said.
This type of eruption has the potential to carpet the Big Island in much thicker ash than current dustings and possibly spread the powder and volcanic smog across the Hawaiian islands and farther afield if it enters the stratosphere.
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