Toxic acid cloud over Hawaii after lava hits ocean

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Authorities warn that the plume could shift direction if the winds change. The new developments include fresher, hotter magma gushing out of fissures on the southeastern flank of the mountain on Saturday and Sunday.

Kilauea erupted on Thursday, May 3, sending clouds of steam and ash into the sky and shaking the Big Island with several earthquakes, the first of which registered as a 5.6 magnitude natural disaster, which was followed an hour later by a 6.9 magnitude quake.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) is working 24/7 to ensure that lives are protected from the ongoing eruption at and around Kilauea.

Large plumes of ash erupted from Kilauea on Saturday afternoon, as well. In addition, an indentation of about 6 hectares had developed on the east rim of the crater, reflecting a slumping of the rim toward the growing pit.

Kilauea volcano that is oozing spewing and exploding on Hawaiis Big Island has gotten more hazardous in recent days with rivers of molten rock pouring
The Associated Press

Scientists have warned that the eruptions could cause unsafe levels of sulfur dioxide in the air. When rocks plugged the vent, the steam built up pressure until it was released in powerful blasts.

"A lot of us have headaches", Santy said. His injury comes more than two weeks after the volcano initially erupted sending lava shooting up from the ground.

In recent days, the lava began to move more quickly and emerge from the ground in greater volume.

Since that discovery, agency volcanologists suggested that once the old lava was pushed out, a fresher batch could follow.

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The USGS said the latest lava effusion near Leilani Estates is a "major eruption".

Lava spatters "can weigh as much as a refrigerator, and even small pieces of spatter can kill", Janet Snyde, a spokesperson for the Office of the Mayor, County of Hawaii, said. Fountaining lava is visible in the background of the shot. Some lava poured downslope, moving as quickly as 300 meters per hour.

Steam rises as lava flows into the ocean near Pahoa, Hawaii, Sunday, May 20, 2018.

Laze - a combination of "lava" and "haze" - is a caustic a caustic mix of hydrochloric acid fumes, steam and fine volcanic glass specks created when erupting lava, which can reach 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit (1,093 degrees Celsius), reacts with sea water. Because laze can be blown downwind, its corrosive effects can extend far beyond the actual ocean entry area.

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Laze itself is not enough to cause serious burns, Babb said, unless someone is right on top of where lava enters the ocean.

The County of Hawaii issued a civil defense message early Monday about the eruption and warning that the ash plume could affect surrounding areas. Almost 3,000 earthquakes have also been recorded over the past month. It broke apart on impact when it landed in a nearby parking lot that was covered in ash and dust from the explosion.

Scientists say they don't know how long the eruption will last.

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