Alternate title: grumpy mood swings
For years Swanson has been gathering evidence about and alerting the public to Kilauea’s dark side. In a T.V. interview earlier this year, he described the threat:
“The most dangerous part of the explosions is something that is probably least known to people, and that is fact that they can produce clouds that are a mixture of hot ash and gases that can move horizontally across the ground surface at very rapid speeds—hurricane velocity.”
Searing hot ash and gas suddenly surging out of the volcano killed several hundred people in November 1790, according to rough historical estimates, making Kilauea the deadliest volcano active in the United States today.
Swanson says he is certain that this kind of surge will happen again, engulfing much of the volcano’s summit and spreading ash around the entire island. Yet he offers some comfort: such an event would probably be preceded by a dramatic sinking of the crater at the volcano’s summit, which would unfold over the course of several days—providing time to evacuate. Only there could be no going back for centuries.
Soooo… last night was cold and wet. Now we’re looking at a hot, volcanic hurricane. Lucky we live Hawaii.