What’s a red warning and why has it been issued near the Kilauea volcano?


It's been more than two weeks since Hawaii's Kilauea volcano erupted. Up to 20 fissures have cracked open, spewing lava and emitting toxic sulfur dioxide gases into the air. Now there's a new problem.

>>TRENDING: 3 people killed in murder suicide; couple going through a divorce

A towering plume of volcanic smoke and ash can be seen from miles away. In fact, the plume of smoke has been reported to have climbed to nearly 12,000 feet into the sky and blowing roughly 18 miles down wind. 

This new development has prompted the USGS (United States Geological Survey) to issue a red warning because of the ongoing eruption, alerting pilots and airlines to stay away from this region. 

>>TRENDING: Man punches teen during road rage incident

So what's causing this thick plume of smoke? 

After the volcano erupted, the lava column has slowly been dropping within the volcano. 

According to the USGS, the caldera itself may be collapsing, dropping hot rocks within the column. If the lava falls below the water table, ground water may come in contact with the magma or hot rocks causing a violent steam explosion like Hawaii is seeing today. 

It's unclear how long this will last as it would take the lava column to climb back above the water table to end the cycle.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Showers, humidity expected early in the work week 
Showers, humidity expected early in the work week 

Muggy air returns Storms early in the work week Taste of fall THIS MORNING: Mostly clear and fairly comfortable to start. Clouds will start creeping in towards noon with lows in the mid-60s. TODAY: Cloud cover and humidity increases throughout the day. By the afternoon, we could see our first wave of showers and thunderstorms moving...
Florida alpaca dies after motorist feeds it Doritos, Cheese Nips, peanuts
Florida alpaca dies after motorist feeds it Doritos, Cheese Nips, peanuts

A Florida animal hospital announced the death of a beloved community alpaca Saturday on Facebook. Creekside Animal Hospital in Fleming Island wrote: "It is with a heavy heart that we want to inform our clients and friends at [Swimming Pen Creek Elementary] that our youngest alpaca that was born out on the shared field over a year ago...
WPAFB Monday Weather: Possible showers, storms to start the work-week
WPAFB Monday Weather: Possible showers, storms to start the work-week

WRIGHT PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE—A dry start is expected, but clouds will build through the day, according to Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar. Highs will be in the middle 80s. As we head into the afternoon hours, the chance for a few pop up showers or storms return to the forecast. In the evening, there’s a better chance for some...
Vacant house fire considered suspicious, rekindles in Huber Heights
Vacant house fire considered suspicious, rekindles in Huber Heights

UPDATE @ 2:15 a.m: A house fire that occurred on Rip Rap Road Sunday night and rekindled hours later into Monday morning is considered suspicious, officials confirm. Crews responded to the vacant structure located in the 6000 block around 8:30 p.m. and found a well-involved fire with visible smoke and flames.  The fire rekindled at approximately...
More Stories