Large steam explosion at Hawaii's Kilauea volcano following eruption

Applauding Trump correction

Hours after residents heard warning sirens and received phone messages urging them to "evacuate now", US Geological Survey on Thursday (AEST) raised the potential for "explosive eruptions" in the coming weeks.

Those forces would emit "ballistic projectiles" - as small as pebbles or weighing up to several tons.

The USGS also said that nearby towns could be dusted with volcanic ash if such an eruption took place.

Gov. David Ige asked President Donald Trump to issue a disaster declaration for Hawaii as a result of the ongoing earthquakes and volcano eruption, according to a press release.

Hawaii County Civil Defense said county, state and federal partners would continue to monitor the situation and inform the public should further safety concerns arise.

Kilauea is the world's most active volcano and has been in near-constant eruption since 1983.

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The explosive eruptions could occur if the lava lake within the summit of the Kilauea volcano falls to the level of groundwater - a combination that would cause steam-driven explosions. In addition, there's the potential for steam and hazardous sulfur dioxide emissions. Dr. Elizabeth Tam, a respiratory health specialist, said these levels are extremely high and potentially fatal. "It's an unsafe gas to breathe in too much of", Elliot said, but luckily it's a gas humans detect easily: The smell is similar to that of rotting eggs or fireworks.

Based on the forecast from the National Weather Service, winds are expected to diminish into Friday, with sea breeze conditions Friday night allowing for vog to possibly be more widespread across the Big Island, before the winds build in again on Saturday, to push the haze back out to sea.

What are the effects of acid rain?

In the short term, the gases in the air that cause acid rain have the largest impact on asthma sufferers and those in more high-risk groups, like the elderly. "The plants are affected by it pretty substantially in that it is an acid falling onto the plants".

There is smoke and toxic gases spread all over the island.

"Walking in acid rain, or even swimming in a lake affected by acid rain, is no more risky to humans than walking in normal rain or swimming in non-acidic lakes", the EPA says.

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Lastly, the rain can contaminate drinking water supplies.

If it happens to rain while vog is lingering over an area, the sulphuric acid particles will join other condensation nuclei in producing cloud droplets, which can then be caught up in rain formation, and produce acid rain. Residents should be careful about their drinking water because they might not know if it's been contaminated following acid rain.

Other dangers persist, not only in the form of lava but also earthquakes and newly formed cracks.

Cherie McArthur wondered what would become of her macadamia nut farm in Lanipuna Gardens, another evacuated neighbourhood near Leilani Estates.

Thirty six structures have been destroyed and 26 of them have been confirmed as homes.

On Wednesday, a 15th vent formed - this one in the Lanipuna subdivision, the Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency says.

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