Hawaii has issued a red alert warning after a huge new volcanic expulsions on the Pacific island.
Residents across the state have been been subjected to harmful plumes of volcanic ash and smog, or vog, since the Kilauea volcano first erupted 12 days ago.
Surging lava has destroyed 37 properties on the archipelago??s main island and forced 2,000 residents to evacuate their homes.
The problem escalated on Tuesday as officials claimed the ash spewing into the Earth??s atmosphere could hamper commercial aviation routes.
The problem is expected to worsen on Wednesday as a shift in winds threatens to bring the vog inland, according to John Bravender of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
We’re observing more or less continuous emission of ash now with intermittent, more energetic ash bursts or plumes, said Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) Deputy Scientist-In-Charge Steve Brantley.
At any time, activity may become more explosive, increasing the intensity of ash production and producing ballistic projectiles near the vent, a statement read.
Tourist numbers have dwindled in recent days as concerned tourists cancelled their visits. Big Island hotel bookings are down 50% from last year, according to Rob Birch, executive director of the Island of Hawaii Visitor Bureau.
Scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey have warned residents in the area to be wary of an explosive eruption of Kilauea, an event last seen in 1924.
Pent up steam developing in the volcano??s crater may result in a massive eruption, forcing a 6,000 metre ash cloud into the sky. Experts say deadly debris could be flung across a 12 mile radius.
Scientists say they are uncertain if the eruption, being dubbed the ??big one?, will occur. They say no evidence yet exists but stressed they are concerned about the possibility.
News Source MirrorNews