Halema`uma`u crater erupts in Hawaii, USA

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Saturday, April 19, 2008

Rainbow and sulfur dioxide emissions from Halemaʻumaʻu vent.
Sulfur dioxide emissions from the Halemaʻumaʻu vent, glows at night

What began as a new gas vent (fumarole) in Halemaʻumaʻu crater sometime between March 10 and March 12 2008, has progressed to be the first explosive eruption in Halemaʻumaʻu Crater since 1924, and the first lava erupted from the crater since 1982. The gases accompanying the eruption have prompted the Hawaiʻi Dept. of Health to announce no-burn days for the island sugar cane industries.

The March 19 explosion of the gas vent partially destroyed the Halemaʻumaʻu Crater Overlook. On April 9 2008, thousands of people were evacuated from Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and the nearby villages because sulfur dioxide reached critical levels creating a very dangerous vog. The evacuation lasted two days. Two more explosions occurred on April 9 2008 and April 16 2008, the latter spreading a faintly pink ash on the Overlook parking lot. Scientists think molten lava may reside at a shallow depth within the new vent.

Halemaʻumaʻu is a pit crater located in the summit caldera, of Kīlauea, Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. The roughly circular caldera measures 3x5 km (or 6x6 km, including the outermost ring faults). According to the traditions of the native people, Halemaʻumaʻu is home to Pele, Goddess of Hawaiian volcanoes.

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Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
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