Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano: Increasingly Spectacular But Also Toxic

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Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano has been a feast for the eyes ever since it started to actively erupt last year in November. However, in the last couple of days the lava spew has been even more spectacular and unfortunately more toxic for the residents of the area.

The geyser-like lava wave erupted 40ft above the crater, about six miles from the ocean at 11pm on Sunday night.

Meanwhile, the Halemaumau vent, which is near Kilauea's summit is emitting a thick plume of ash mixed with large amounts of sulpher dioxide which could be harmful for people living in the region. So far, thanks to the direction of the wind, the dangers have been minimal, but officials are being very vigilant. While visitors are still being allowed to the viewing area, they have been unable to see the spectacular spews, as those are all happening on the ocean facing side of the volcano.

The spew is however very valuable to the scientists as it is providing them with the first opportunity in 26 years, to observe how magma moves up the volcano. Also, lava samples from two different sides of the volcano are showing differences, leading scientists to believe that the 'plumbing' under Kilauea may be more complicated than they had thought.

While scientists figure out all the complicated stuff, we continue to feast our eyes on this fabulous volcano called Kilauea -the home of Hawaiian volcano goddess, Madame Pele.

Sources: Star Bulletin, Telegraph.co.uk, Foxnews

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