Hawaii national park to close over fear of ‘explosive’ volcano eruption
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is set to close indefinitely on Friday (May 11) as scientists warned of an explosive eruption from the Kilauea volcano that could shoot “boulders the size of cows” into the air.
Visitors got one last glimpse of the massive plume of smoke billowing in the distance on Thursday (May 10), while residents on the Big Island of Hawaii were alerted to rising levels of toxic gas from lava-oozing fissures.
The latest upheaval at Kilauea began last week after the crater floor of a long-active side vent collapsed suddenly in a cloud of ash, triggering a similar plunge in the molten lake inside the larger crater at the volcano’s summit.
Geologists said Kilauea may be entering a new phase of explosive eruptions not seen in nearly a century that could hurl “ballistic blocks” weighing up to 12 tons for half a mile (800 meters), and rain pebble-sized fragments for another mile or two (1.8 to 3.2 km).