The Kilauea volcano has been spewing lava, poisonous gases, and molten rocks on Hawaii’s Big Island since May 3rd. For almost two weeks now, the eruption had already damaged residential houses and about 1,000 people have been evacuated. The high levels of sulfur dioxide also pose a serious threat to children, elderly, and those with respiratory issues.
Now, the massive plume of ash rising from the erupting volcano has become a threat to aircraft. The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory warned pilots to change the aviation color code to red. That only means it is not safe to travel via air as an eruption could happen anytime soon. But, “code red” is just a warning.
“It doesn’t mean that a really big eruption is imminent,” – USGS volcanologist Michelle Coombs said.
The volcanic ash is dangerous because it could carry crushed rocks, glasses, and gas that could interfere with the pilot’s instruments or kill the engine. This kind of incident has already occured in the 1980s, wherein several planes almost crashed when engines failed upon passing through ash clouds.
Today, color-coded warnings were issued by the volcanic ash advisory centers and volcano observatories worldwide to alert the aviation industry. The color codes range from green (volcano isn’t erupting) to red (eruption could happen soon).
The US Geological Survey’s (USGS) monitor the eruption through satellite images from the National Weather Service, footage of the volcano from webcams, and earthquake sensors.
The eruption also caused earthquakes, acid rain, and volcanic smog
The magnitude 4.4 earthquake on Wednesday rattled the volcano’s main caldera, destroying buildings and roads in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Moreover, the ashfall and volcanic smog – also called as “vog” – prompted authorities to warn people against exposure to sulfur dioxide.
“As deflation continues, strong earthquakes in the area around Kilauea Volcano’s summit are expected to continue and may become more frequent,” according to the statement issued by the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.
Despite the threats of Kilauea, Hawaiians still continue with their lives
The plume of ash rising from Kilauea’s summit will not stop people from doing what they want.
Several golfers were photographed on Tuesday playing at the Volcano Golf and Country Club.
Some people also took selfies with the giant ash…
While others were filming the plume’s motion…
And these children weren’t even scared…
It is not yet clear when will the big eruption will happen, the last massive explosion at the Kilauea’s summit was in 1924, killing one person due to a falling debris.