Sunday morning the Hawaii volcano summit collapsed. The collapse occurred after literally being hit by 40 or more earthquakes an hour.
The explosion that occurred could be compared to an over 5 magnitude earthquake occurring at the crater of the volcano itself. Because of this explosion, a plume of steam and ash rose at least 5,000 feet above sea level. There are currently no signs of this situation slowing down and lava still continues to flow.
The USGS (The United States Geological Survey) wrote as follows in regards to the collapse:
At 4:32 p.m. HST on June 23, after approximately 17 hours of elevated seismicity, a collapse explosion occurred at the summit producing an ash-poor steam plume that rose less than 2,000 ft above the ground surface (< 6000 ft above sea level) before drifting to the SW. The energy released by the event was equivalent to a magnitude 5.3 earthquake. Seismicity dropped abruptly from a high of 25-30 earthquakes per hour (many in the magnitude 2-3 range) prior to the collapse explosion down to 10 or less earthquakes per hour afterward. Within 4 hours seismicity began to creep up again averaging about 25 earthquakes per hour by daybreak (June 24). Inward slumping of the rim and walls of Halemaʻumaʻu continues in response to ongoing subsidence at the summit.
Sulfur dioxide emissions from the volcano’s summit have dropped to levels that are about half those measured prior to the onset of the current episode of eruptive activity. This gas and minor amounts of ash are being transported downwind, with small bursts of ash and gas accompanying intermittent explosive activity.
While this is not alarming at the moment it is something we need to pay attention to. As the eruption continues we must really do all we can to inform locals. Volcanic glass fragments and so forth are also continuing to fall downwind of the fissure to the ground and it seems high winds could be causing these particles to reach greater distances.
Volcanic gas emissions are still very high from fissure 8 eruptions and things are not slowing down anytime soon. For more information on this please check out the video below. What do you think about all of this? I for one find it to be quite concerning.
Featured Image Via Youtupe Mania