[Cover Photo: United States Geological Survey]
Hawaii’s Kilauea is not a volcano you take for granted. After a week of mini eruptions, collapses, and headline-worthy lava fissures popping up across the Big Island, The National Park Service just announced that Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is closed for the forseeable future.
The closure comes as experts anticipate a large explosion of steam and lava sometime during the coming week. Ever since the fissures started popping up around the island, the lava level within the volcano has continuously dropped. Once that lava falls below sea level, a violent explosion of steam of magma becomes a real possibility.
“Due to the possibility of a steam-induced explosion at the summit of Kīlauea due to the receding lava lake, an ensuing ash fall event, plus southerly wind patterns forecasted for Friday, the majority of the park will be closed Friday until further notice. We will reopen when it is safe to do so.” – NPS Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
So far, the lava level has dropped “three football fields down” according to US Geological Survey research scientist, Charles Mandeville. That decrease has experts expecting an explosion sometime in the next 6-7 days. Those same experts believe the blast zone will be limited to park boundaries and that no towns or urban areas are in immediate danger as of yet.
Find the entire advisory here: Most of Park Will Close Friday in Anticipation of Possible Explosive Steam Event at Kīlauea Summit