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Scientists Not Sure Why Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano Erupted And When It Will Stop

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Experts' continued efforts to study the recent eruption of Kilauea volcano in Hawaii's Big Island suggest more eruptions are on the way. Fissures release toxic gases, which keep residents away from their homes.  ( Mario Tama | Getty Images )

Hawaii's Kilauea volcano continues to erupt as it displaces residents and damages an area equivalent to 75 football fields, with no end in sight yet.

Bizarre And Unexpected

Scientists and experts are reportedly baffled by both the timing and type of volcanic eruption that happened in Hawaii. Most of the residents in the affected areas are probably used to the occurrence of eruptions every now and then, but this time, it's a little different.

If anyone is asked to picture what a volcanic eruption looks like, most would likely paint a picture where a rock formation with steep sides that taper to a cone spew smoke and debris while lava flows down its slopes. Yet, what recently happened did not match the common scenario.

A report from CNN explains that what occurred in Big Island was an effusive fissure eruption. It means that the buildup of magma flows out of cracks in the ground on the lower part of the volcano. Unlike the lava flow from a regular eruption, this one is reportedly slower but damaging nonetheless.

Danger And Damage

Geologists continue to study volcanic eruptions in order to better predict how lava flows. This, in turn, can help experts forecast the possible paths and areas that could be affected by volcanoes.

Factors are taken into consideration such as the flow rate, location, elevation, and other data. If it proves successful, it can help guide responders and Civil Defense personnel to make the necessary preparations and effectively evacuate areas at risk.

The most recent report, fortunately, confirms that the eruption of the Big Island's Kilauea volcano did not claim any lives. However, it displaced the residents of a peaceful subdivision and destroyed around 35 structures. Areas that are within or close to the fissures where lava continues to flow are at risk from hazardous fumes.

Sulfur Dioxide, a colorless toxic gas, is usually released as the magma rises to the surface. People are advised to avoid areas where the fissures have formed due to escaping gases.

Not Stopping Anytime Soon

It has been recorded that Kilauea volcano in Hawaii's Big Island is continuously in a state of eruption for the last 30 years. Weeks before the fissures formed, experts had noted that the lava levels inside the Pu'u O'o crater increased. What followed was a sudden drop as the magma flowed outward from the base of the volcano.

Scientists believe that another big eruption is looming and it does not look like volcanic activities will end anytime soon.

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