Does the volcanic eruption in Hawaii affect our weather here in Chicago?

Hawaii volcano is hurling ‘lava bombs’ at residents

Lava from Hawaii's erupting Kilauea volcano is exploding as it pours into the ocean, shooting rock fragments that are a danger to boaters.

The flames, which can only be seen well at night, are caused by methane buildups, a by-product of the lava flows which have been enveloping the area around the volcano since it erupted last week on the Big Island.

The methane can seep through cracks several feet away from the lava.

But Kilauea's activity ratcheted up considerably on May 3 after an quake rattled the region; lava began spilling from newly created fissures and spreading through neighborhoods, turning parts of the Big Island into disaster zones.

It has since opened more than 20 vents releasing lava, sulfur dioxide and steam. More than two dozen homes have been destroyed by lava, officials have said.

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"One of the first things emergency responders wanted to know was where the lava was coming out, where are all the fissures", said J. On Wednesday, the volcano belched a plume that reached about 7,000 feet (2,133 metres), scientists said.

"It's very dramatic. It's very eerie", USGS scientist Jim Kauahikaua said.

That suggests it is possible new fissures could open west of Leilani that would cut Highway 130, leaving a large area from MacKenzie State Recreation Area to Kalapana without a ground evacuation route. The Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency also reports flows and ground cracking continue in both Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens.

'We are kind of in this steady state, ' said Wendy Stovall, a scientist at the US Geographical Survey.

He said it was only the second time he's ever seen blue flames during an eruption.

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Down on the east flank of the volcano, six fissures re-erupted in lava fountains, as volcanic activity moved west toward Highway 130.

Officials shut down Puna Geothermal shortly after the current eruption began. That steam is then directed into a turbine generator that produces electricity, according to Hawaiian Electric. Her recent article is titled "Workers Scramble to Seal Wells at Geothermal Plant Threatened by Lava". Officials say the power plant is "essentially safe".

Geologists say the eruption is one of the biggest in 100 years.

Many homes in Puna are not built to code, or are built in zones where lava flows have already wiped out previous developments, which some residents attribute to the frontier mind-set here.

Ross Birch, Hawaii Island Visitor Bureau director, said cruise ships will return to Kona and Hilo in the next few weeks after canceling stops because of the volcano.

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