Scientists warn volcano in Hawaii could be gearing up for huge eruption

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Workers at a geothermal power plant located just half a mile from underground lava oozing through cracks in the ground in the neighbourhood of Leilani Estates have been removing 60,000 gallons of flammable liquid to prevent the risk of a devastating explosion.

Lava has destroyed at least 36 structures and covered more than 115 acres.

A summit explosion could also release ash, steam and sulfur dioxide gas.

The statement added: "No access is allowed at this time for residents of Lanipuna Gardens due to unsafe volcanic gases". It has the highest possible hazard rating for lava flows, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Fifteen of the vents at the moment are unfold by the Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens neighborhoods.

For people with asthma and other respiratory problems, "the effects are much more serious, causing a tightening of the airways in the lungs and making it very hard to breathe", the university says.

The Volcano Observatory says they can not predict with certainty if or when these steam driven explosions will occur or how large they might be.

And now, scientists are warning that an explosive eruption may occur at the summit crater within weeks.

"He said 'That lava's underneath your house, '" said Conda. She had meant to visit Kilauea's summit with her husband and 5-year-old daughter and stay in Volcano, a town a few miles from the crater. "When you've got that, it is Pele's method of clearing home and restoring the place".

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The bulk of the Kilauea deaths, an estimated 400, were the result of an explosive eruption in 1790. "There's beauty and also darkness".

The ongoing eruption of Kilauea in Hawaii could provide some valuable lessons about Auckland volcanoes, says a GNS researcher.

He said the problem is that the lava lake at the summit of Kilauea is draining fast - at about two metres per hour - and spewing out of cracks elsewhere in the mountain.

In little more than a week, the top of the lava lake has gone from spilling over the crater to nearly 970 feet (295 meters) below the surface as of Thursday morning, Mandeville said. As that magma flows from the chamber and out of the fissures on the volcano's flanks, the lava level in the center crater falls.

"I'm not too anxious about it because I've lived here so long and I've seen it go through lots of different episodes", Hughes said. "We really don't know for certain", he told reporters on a conference call.

On the present fee of change, that's about six or seven days away. The clock begins to tick when the magma drops below the water table, which is likely to happen in mid-May, Swanson said. And the dropped rocks maintain that steam in till it blows.

A similar 1924 explosion threw pulverised rock, ash and steam as high as 9 kilometres into the sky for a couple of weeks.

The town, which is nestled in a lush rainforest a few miles from the crater, is a popular overnight spot for park visitors. One of the nearest communities, creatively named Volcano, and its roughly 2,000 people are about three miles from the summit.

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