On Thursday, a fissure opened around the Hawaiian volcano of Kilauea, causing lava to pour out from dangerous and dramatic manner. And thanks to the United States Geological Survey, there’s a few spectacular video footage to reveal precisely what the lava stream seemed like, shot from above in a helicopter. The resulting footage is just nothing short of incredible, displaying the intensity, damaging force, and utter extent of the situation.
The footage was posted to the USGS’s Facebook accounts on Saturday, and it reveals the lava stream from “fissure 20. ” It’s just about 30 minutes in length, but in so brief a time, it really hammers home just how immense, poisonous, and geologically remarkable the situation is.
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Helicopter overflight of a fast-moving lava flow emerging from fissure 20 on May 19, 2018, at 7:52 AM HST. The stream is progressing to the southeast. Lava fountaining is visible in the background. The sound is the noise of their helicopter.More photos and video are available on the USGS–Hawaiian Volcano Observatory webpage, at https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_chronology.html.#usgs #hvo #hawaiianvolcanoobservatory #kilauea #volcano #KilaueaErupts ##LERZeruption #LERZ #KilaueaEruption
Posted by USGS Volcanoes on Saturday, May 19, 2018
The first serious accident of the ongoing volcanic eruptions–that have been continuing unchecked for weeks now, dating back to May 3–allegedly occurred this weekend; a single individual allegedly suffered serious leg injuries as the result of lava spatter. According to a spokesperson for the county mayor, the guy was sitting on his balcony when he was struck by a volcanic rock projectile.
“It struck him on the shin and shattered everything down there to his leg,” the spokesperson stated, according to the BBC.
It’s also feared that if volcanic lava flows like the one shown above end up reaching the ocean, it could cause a hazardous environmental condition called “laze. ” When lava contacts with ocean water, according to the USGS, it produces a caustic chemical reaction which can result in respiratory problems to anyone near it, as well as irritation to the skin and eyes.
There’s no telling just how much longer the eruptions and fissures will continue in this manner, but based on the Guardian, the lava stream on Saturday morning was moving at a pace of around 300 mph. The lava has already caused the destruction of many houses on the island, and Kilauea is regarded as the most active volcano on any of the Hawaiian islands.
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