The national park surrounding the Hawaiian volcano Kilauea was closed late Thursday, fearing that the steam that accumulates inside does not end up blowing up the mountain.
Such an explosion could throw rocks, big and small, several kilometers in the air, and “all that goes up eventually down,” said an expert from the US government, Charles Mandeville.
He added that we do not want to end up on the trajectory of a 10-tonne object that was catapulted to nearly 135 mph.
An explosive eruption could shut down Big Island’s two airports and release water vapor and toxic sulphurous gases.
The volcano spews lava for two weeks. Some 2000 people were forced to evacuate and about thirty houses were destroyed. A geothermal plant is also threatened.
Mr. Mandeville recalled that Kilauea has been the scene of explosive eruptions on at least six occasions over the centuries. The danger zone encompasses a radius of five kilometers around the summit.
Bob Jones has been writing and editing at Pop Lexikon for over two years, where he has covered everything from E3 to self-driving cars to rocket launches, and everything in between. He previously spent time at the Gadgets 360, Mashable and Tech Radar, earning a Masters degree in communications from the University of Michigan along the way. When not working on his next piece, you might find Bob traveling the world in search of the weird and wonderful. Failing that, he’ll probably be napping.