The eruption of Kilauea volcano in Hawaii could last several months or even years, according to US geologists. The terrible and magnificent volcanic eruption, which has ravaged since May the main island of the archipelago of Hawaii, is not ready to stop. Nothing surprising for the Kilauea volcano, which has seen no less than 64 eruptions since its discovery in 1778 by James Cook.
Teams of geologists from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) have stated that the observed seismic activity could last several months, and even several years. Since May 3, more than 700 homes have had to be evacuated and thousands have fled the affected areas.
The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory is concerned about possible changes in direction of the lava flows, which already extend for tens of kilometers. These flows could then threaten even more homes and people living in the area.
The volume of molten rock in the crater is, according to geologists, much more massive than in previous eruptions.
A fascinating show that is watched very closely
The same area of Kilauea had already exploded in 1840, 1955 and 1960 – the longest recorded eruption lasting 88 days. The current could well beat this record. That said, scientists believe that in the past, eruptive periods have lasted several hundred years. One would have lasted 1200 years, ending around the year 1000, the other 300 years around 1500.
With regard to the most recent eruptions, they gradually stopped with the decrease of the pressure of the lava underground thanks to the multiplication of different cracks. Except that today, a crack in particular poses a problem, inducing a higher level of pressure. Thus, a 400-meter lava river flows to the ocean from the top of the volcano.
A casting 6 meters high
The USGS also warns areas downwind that “could experience various levels of volcanic fog created by the reaction of emissions to oxygen, moisture, dust and the sunlight.
Kilauea is one of the most active volcanoes in the world and one of five in the island of Hawaii, the largest in the archipelago. Its eruption on May 3 led to the evacuation of 2,000 people. A giant 6m high casting in places blocked part of a highway.
Scientists believe that volcanic activity may herald a major eruption similar to that of the mid-1920s, but they do not fear casualties because the most exposed residential areas have been evacuated to where the volcano is not very populated.