Hawaii, USA is made up of 5 islands that were made by volcanic eruptions. Kilauea, one the world’s most active volcanoes is on Hawaii’s Big Island in the USA has been active for the past 30 years, and started erupting again on May 3, 2018. It has caused mayhem and forced many to evacuate their homes.
NPR (National Public Radio) reported that it seemed almost like there was a block in the crater recently, as the magma kept bubbling up. Then all of a sudden it seems that it dropped, and started spreading underground, and started erupting out on the roads along ground from the cracks and fissures.
No one knows how long this eruption cycle will last! It could be ending soon or it may take weeks and months and years!
What does Kilauea mean? Kilauea means “much spreading”, in Hawaiian. Kilauea is a shield volcano, meaning it is broad and domed with sloping sides made up of fluid lava flow.
What is a Volcano? As explained on the NASA Space Place website, a volcano is an opening on the surface of a planet or moon that allows material warmer than its surroundings to escape from its interior. When this material escapes, it causes an eruption. An eruption can be explosive, sending material high into the sky. Or it can be calmer, with gentle flows.
What are the dangers of a volcanic eruption?
- Lava, as it oozes down steep slopes, it often breaks apart into a billowing avalanche of hot rock and gas called a pyroclastic flow. Pyroclastic flows destroy anything in their path.
- The volcano emits a yucky smelling sulphur dioxide gas that can kill plants and cause respiratory failure in people.
Can Lava be stopped? Lava is liquid rock – it is heavy, sticky and very hot at nearly 2000 degrees. In fact it is so sticky and thick that we could actually walk on it if our shoes didn’t melt away due to the heat.
So you cannot spray it with water, or make barriers to stop it or use explosives. You could try and direct it away from certain areas, costs would be very high and it would put more people in danger. According to experts, the best solution is to evacuate the area and wait until the flow stops.
Did you know this? People in Hawaii are no strangers to eruptions as the islands were formed by volcanic activity and rock. In Hawaiian folklore, Pele is the Goddess of fire, lightning, wind and volcanoes and is believed to be the creator of Hawaiian Islands. It is said that her home is in Kilauea’s Halemaumau Crater.
Contributed by: Preetika Soni. Preetika is a full – time toddler mommy. In the time that is left, she enjoys writing, photography and crochet. She has worked with NDTV, Mumbai and has taught at SCMSophia.