No, don't roast marshmallows at the Hawaii volcano: USGS

Casey Dawson
May 30, 2018

"Kind of disturbingly, some people just refused to leave and so it kind of gives us terrifying insight into what's going on out there".

Magma has drained from Kilauea's summit lava lake and flowed around 40 kilometres east underground, bursting out of about two dozen giant cracks or fissures near the plant.

At more than 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, the lava oozing out of Hawaii's Kilauea volcano will easily toast a marshmallow, but that doesn't mean you should go out and start making volcanic s'mores.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is warning people not to try to roast marshmallows over a volcano.

More homes have been burned in the Leilani Estates area as the lava from the Kilauea eruption continues to flow.

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Molten rock trapped at least one person who was rescued by authorities. Its operator, Israeli-controlled Ormat Technologies Inc, said it had not been able to assess the damage.

But lava has never engulfed a geothermal plant anywhere in the world and the potential threat is untested, according to the head of the state's emergency management agency.

Kilauea in Hawaii has been erupting since May 3.

While eruptions continue at the main crater, Kilauea's lava flows have also proven extremely unsafe for bystanders and residents who refused to evacuate. County officials said the plugged wells were stable and being monitored, and no unsafe gases have been released, such as hydrogen sulfide - a colorless, flammable gas that can be emitted by volcanoes or when organic matter and waste break down. Light winds are blowing toward the northwest and ash fall may affect the Volcano and Pahala areas.

The three explosions, which began around 12.42am, came during the fourth week of what geologists rank as one of the biggest eruption cycles from the Big Island volcano in a century.

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