The eruption of Kilauea volcano on the Big Island (Hawaii) intensified due to steam explosions caused by contact of magma with groundwater. As a result of the catastrophe, an ash plume of nine kilometers in length was formed, and large pieces of rock flew hundreds of meters. This is reported by the publication Science Alert. Earlier in May, such a scenario was predicted by scientists from the Hawaiian Volcanic Observatory.
Researchers warned of the explosion when it was noticed that the level of the lava lake on the top of the volcano fell. This happened as a result of the descending movement of molten rocks. At the same time, steam began to form, because the lava had fallen to the level of groundwater. Ultimately, the lightning-fast pressure increase in the underground canals would lead to a phreatic explosion, at which gas and stone emissions occur.
Official representatives of the Hawaiian Volcanic National Park reported that the Kilauea caldera had sunk almost one meter per night. The catastrophe also caused frequent earthquakes and cracks on the road. According to experts, if the volcano continues to subsidence, then there will be new explosions.