VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK, Hawaii — Theon Hawaii’s Big Island has been blowing off and for a week. But on Thursday, there were signs it could soon explode and widen the disaster.
Geologists are warning a possible explosion at the summit of Kilauea could be the largest in nearly 100 years, hurling boulders the size of refridgerators. The heavy clouds of smoke coming from the main crater on Wednesday were likely triggered by a rock fall from the crater walls.
As the lava levels inside the volcano drain lower, the danger of an eruption can actually increase. When the molten rock reaches groundwater levels, pressurized steam can cause an explosion, shooting rocks and ash miles away from the crater.
“If you project the line where the fissures are occurring, the PGV facility is on that line, so we definitely want to be prepared,” Ige said.
Because of the threat, Volcanoes National Park will be closed Friday. Scientists think conditions could be right for a major explosion within a few days. The last time that happened was in 1924, it blasting rock and ash more than five miles into the air.