Hawaii volcano update: Shocking 453 earthquakes in 24 hours | World | News

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The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory has recorded a staggering 453 earthquakes within 24 hours on Big Island.

Most of these are focused at the summit and are causing ash to rise from the volcano into the atmosphere.

The United States Geological Survey recorded an earthquake at the summit at 3:42am local time (2.42pm BST) which produced a plume that rose to 6,000 feet.

Continued earthquakes are causing the collapse of the Halema`uma`u Crater, which lies within the summit of Kilauea.

The USGS said: “Inward slumping of the rim and walls of Halema`uma`u continues in response to ongoing subsidence at the summit.”

Upon measuring the crater, scientists have found it to be around 1.8km (1.1miles) wide, meaning it is now “twice as large as it was before explosions began on May 17, 2018” according to the USGS.

The movement of lava within the volcano is causing pressure to be applied to the tectonic plates below, which is triggering earthquakes.

Currently, the largest recorded earthquake during this eruption occurred on May 4, measuring a magnitude of 6.9.

There has been fear that earthquakes could trigger a tsunami should they be large enough.

However, Brian Shiro, seismic network manager at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory told Hawaii News Now it would take more than a magnitude 4.0 earthquake to cause serious concern about a tsunami.

He said: “Generally speaking, local tsunamis can be generated by shall near-or-off-shore earthquakes above magnitude 6.8.”

Although last month’s magnitude 6.9 earthquake did create small tsunami waves.

As well as the constant unrest from earthquakes, Kilauea is continuing to spew lava at an alarming rate from its most explosive fissure.

The USGS undertook a flight over the fissure and reported: “lava fountaining at fissure 8 feeding channelized lava flows that flow into the ocean.

“Lava is still flowing out of fissure 8 unabated and the channel is full.”

Air quality on Big Island is being monitored closely, as volcanic gases from the summit, fissure 8 and the ocean are at risk of causing harm to residents.

If breathed in, volcanic gases can cause eye, throat and nose irritation as well as lung damage.

Hawaii Civil Defense has warned residents of the increasing amounts of volcanic emissions being produced: “Fissure 8 continues to produce a large channelized flow that is entering the ocean at Kapoho Bay and producing a large laze plume.

“Gas emissions from the fissure eruption and at the ocean entry continue to be very high.”



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