Eruption Questions: What's the current situation of magma at Kilauea right now?


People around the world have been transfixed by images of fountains of red and orange lava oozing out of volcanic vents on Hawaii's Big Island.

Intermittent explosions of ash from the summit, believed to be driven by underground bursts of steam deep inside the throat of the crater vent, are occurring about twice a day, with smaller blasts in between, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) vulcanologist Wendy Stovall told reporters.

Kilauea is located in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, connected to the southern region of Puna, which is a few miles north of the coast.

Puna Geothermal, owned by Nevada's Ormat Technologies, was shut down earlier this month shortly after Kilauea began spewing lava on May 3.

Some lava over the weekend began flowing into the ocean and generated plumes of lava haze.

Authorities are urging people to stay away from areas where lava meets the ocean because of its hazards. Lava flowing from the volcano recently reached the ocean, causing a risky lava-haze phenomena known as ' laze' that sends acid- and glass-laced steam shooting into the air, creating yet another hazard for those downwind of the lava's ocean entry point. And it has proven deadly in the past.

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The molten rock started pouring into the sea over the weekend.

Residents in the Leilani Estates community have seen their neighborhood transformed by the lava.

Methane gas is produced as a byproduct when hot lava buried plants and shrubs, which can then seep into cracks and create blue flames when it ignites, according to USGS.

This gas flows through the ground and up through existing cracks, posing an extreme danger to anyone standing nearby. While the family home is still above ground, a corner of the property looks like it's barely holding on from crumbling into the abyss below. "I went back Monday and noticed that it had gotten worse, so I texted (the homeowner) about it", Hunt said.

"I was actually in the house and the bombs had waned to a point where they were nearly nonexistent at this point on Saturday morning", Clinton, who was helping look after homes in the area, explained.