Kilauea volcano eruption: After lava, Hawaiians brace for acid rain and vog

Kilauea volcano eruption: After lava, Hawaiians brace for acid rain and vog

"The steady lowering of the lava lake in "Overlook crater" within Halemaumau at the summit of Kilauea Volcano has raised the potential for explosive eruptions in the coming weeks", the organization said on Wednesday.

Kilauea, one of the world's most active volcanoes and perhaps the most intensely studied, began extruding red-hot lava into populated areas through newly opened fissures in the ground last week, destroying dozens of homes and other buildings, and prompting mass evacuations. Pebble-sized rocks could also be thrown several miles.

Should steam-driven explosions begin, ash clouds will rise to greater elevations above ground.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige, a Democrat, told evacuees he has called the White House and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to tell officials that he believes the state will need help to deal with the volcano on the Big Island.

Garcia said Kilauea's current eruption cycle, which has persisted with no more than a month's pause for 35 years, is already its longest in the last five centuries.

Scientists with the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory say that if the lava column drops to the level of groundwater beneath Kīlauea Caldera, influx of water into the conduit could cause steam-driven explosions.

The fumes from the lava form a volcanic fog, which spreads far from the eruption.

Gas emitted during steam-drive explosions will be mainly steam, but will include some sulfur dioxide (SO2) as well.

While there are sometimes some rather dramatic ideas of acid rain burning like battery acid, the slightly acidic water that falls from these clouds feels like any other rain shower, and is not immediately unsafe.

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"Because of their small size, aerosol particles such as those in vog penetrate deep into the human lung and are readily retained", the USGS says. A lot of them were the homes of the local people.

But it adds: "There's been no clear evidence that vog causes lingering damage to normally healthy individuals".

At this time, due to the prevailing winds, most of the sulphur dioxide emissions from the fissures, and resulting sulphuric acid particles, are being blown out to sea, to the southwest of the Big Island.

According to Steven Businger, a meteorologist with the University of Hawaii, acid rain is typically not concentrated enough to have much of an effect on people.

What are the effects of acid rain?

The dwelling was across from a fissure that opened Friday, when "there was some steam rising from all parts of the yard, but everything looked fine", said Ms Makuakane.

Publicity to very excessive ranges of the fuel, which causes acid rain, could be life-threatening, based on the Company for Poisonous Substances and Illness Registry. Fortunately, acid rain is not as risky as it sounds. However, this acid water can pollute drinking water supplies, by leeching lead from pipes, it can damage plants, and it can even increase the rate of corrosion (rusting) of exposed metal objects.

Acid rain mainly impacts health, agriculture and the drinking water systems in the area where acid rain falls, Elliot said.

"In 1988, the drinking water of almost 40% of homes using such systems in the Kona Districts of the island was found to be contaminated with lead leached by acid rain", the USGS says.

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