Plumes of laze – a corrosive cocktail of superheated saltwater steam laced with poisonous hydrochloric acid and fine volcanic particles that can irritate the skin, eyes, and lungs – are being carried by light winds and could last for days.
The area around Kapoho Bay in the south east is also expected to be shrouded in this vog – volcanic fog – until the beginning of next week.
Locals have also been warned about Pele’s hair – fine strands of volcanic glass which can cause skin and eye irritation and breathing difficulties.
The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) said the eruption of Kilauea was continuing with Fissure 8 still producing a large channelised flow of lava that is entering the ocean at Kapoho Bay and producing the laze clouds.
A Civil Defence official said: “The ocean entry is a hazardous area. Venturing too close to an ocean entry on land or the ocean exposes you to flying debris from sudden explosive interaction between lava and water.
“Also, the lava delta is unstable because it is built on unconsolidated lava fragments and sand.
“This loose material can easily be eroded away by surf, causing the new land to become unsupported and slide into the sea.”
Hawaii’s Department of Health has urged residents to limit outside activities and stay indoors.
Lava fountains of up to 130ft have been recorded and there has been increased earthquake activity after a small explosion at Kilauea’s summit.
HVO field crews are on site tracking the fountains, lava flows, and spattering from Fissure 8 as conditions allow and are reporting information to Hawaii County Civil Defence.
Volcanic gas emissions remain very high from Fissure 8 eruptions and have increased over the past two weeks.
Wind conditions are changing and may bring VOG to the central, south, and western parts of the island of Hawaii.
Sulphur dioxide emissions from the volcano’s summit have dropped to levels that are about half those measured prior to the onset of the current episode of eruptive activity.