Hawaii volcano's bubbling lava is enough to cover Manhattan

The Kilauea volcano erupted 36 days ago, and with it came massive ash clouds, earthquakes, mountains of lava and hund...

Posted: Jun. 8, 2018 10:48 AM
Updated: Jun. 8, 2018 10:48 AM

The Kilauea volcano erupted 36 days ago, and with it came massive ash clouds, earthquakes, mountains of lava and hundreds of evacuations on Hawaii's big Island.

Since May 3, Kilauea's lava, ash and rocks have destroyed about 600 homes, closed major highways and prompted health warnings.

It's moving fast

The eruption has spewed out enough lava to fill 45,400 Olympic-sized pools since it started, the US Geological Survey said.

The lava is "enough to cover Manhattan 6.5 feet deep" and fill 11.3 million average dump trucks, it said.

It's scalding hot

It's not just bubbling out fast, it's hot too. The eruption temperature of K-lauea lava is a scalding 2,140 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the USGS.

"This is the hottest lava we've seen during this eruption," Wendy Stovall, a scientist with USGS told CNN affiliate Hawaii News Now. "Lava can't get hotter than where we are."

The melting point of steel is about 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit.

The earthquakes won't stop

An eruption at Kilauea summit jolted the area Wednesday with the force of a 5.4 magnitude earthquake and hurled an ash plume that reached 10,000 feet above sea level.

Over the weekend, there were 500 quakes in the summit area of Kilauea in a 24-hour period -- the highest rate ever measured

Those earthquakes have continued near the summit, according to Jim Kauahikaua, a geophysicist with the US Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. He told reporters on Monday that temblors are nearly continuous at the summit and that gas emissions remain "very high."

At least 12,000 earthquakes on Hawaii's Big Island in the last 30 days. The volcanic gas and ash emission could affect air quality across the central and southern half of Big Island, Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency said.

The lava's entry into the ocean was also producing laze -- a hazardous mix of acidic steam, hydrochloric acid gas and tiny shards of volcanic glass. Residents have been warned to avoid the area.

Here are some commonly used volcanic terms

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