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Senin, 21 Desember 2020

Volcano erupts on Hawaii's Big Island before earthquake - Sydney Morning Herald

Honolulu: The Kilauea volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island erupted and shot a steam cloud into the atmosphere that lasted for about an hour, an official with the National Weather Service says.

The eruption began late on Sunday, local time, within the within Halema’uma’u crater, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said. The volcano is located within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

This photo, released by the US Geological Survey, shows lava flowing in the crater of the Kilauea volcano on Sunday.

This photo, released by the US Geological Survey, shows lava flowing in the crater of the Kilauea volcano on Sunday.Credit:US Geological Survey

Tom Birchard, a senior forecaster with the National Weather Service in Hawaii, said a new lava flow interacted with a pool of water inside the crater and that led to a short-lived but a fairly vigorous eruption.

When lava interacts with water it can cause explosive reactions.

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All the water evaporated out of the lake and a steam cloud shot up about 9 kilometres into the atmosphere, Birchard said.

The water was the first ever recorded in the summit crater of Kilauea volcano. In 2019, after a week of questions about a mysterious green patch at the bottom of the volcano’s crater, researchers confirmed the presence of water. The lake had continued to fill since then.

An advisory was issued by the National Weather Service in Honolulu, warning of fallen ash from the volcano. Excessive exposure to ash is an eye and respiratory irritant, it said.

The agency later said the eruption was easing and a “low-level steam cloud” was lingering in the area.

By 1am, USGS officials told Hawaii News Now that there were reported lava fountains shooting about 50 metres into the sky.

David Phillips, a Hawaiian Volcano Observatory spokesman, said the agency was monitoring the situation.

"We will send out further notifications on Kilauea and other Hawaiian volcanoes as we observe changes,” he said.

A magnitude 4.4 earthquake hit about an hour after the volcano began erupting.

The USGS said it received more than 500 reports of people who felt the earthquake but significant damage to buildings or structures was not expected.

Kilauea erupted in 2018, destroying more than 700 homes and spewing enough lava to fill 320,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

An area more than half the size of Manhattan was buried in up to 24 metres of now-hardened lava. The lava flowed over the course of four months.

The 2018 eruption occurred along a rift zone on the volcano's flank where many residential neighbourhoods had been developed. Last night's eruption was contained to the summit caldera within the national park.

The volcano had not erupted since 2018 but before then had active lava flows for more than three decades. Kilauea is one of the most active volcanoes on earth.

AP

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2020-12-21 14:59:00Z
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