NASA has released satellite images showing massive sulfur dioxide plumes released by Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano, which has now been erupting for five days.
Around 1,700 people have been evacuated and dozens of buildings, including 26 homes, have been destroyed since the volcano started erupting on Thursday.
There have also been a number of powerful earthquakes and authorities are now contemplating widening the evacuation zone as Kilauea continues to spout rivers of lava and belch noxious gas.
Sulfur dioxide can cause coughing and a burning sensation in the throat, and it can be fatal in high concentrations. In warning people to evacuate, Hawaii’s Civil Defense Agency said that there are deadly levels of the gas in the air and emergency responders would not be able to help anyone affected.
NASA has released satellite images showing huge columns of gas reaching out from the eruption areas. The images, which were captured by advanced instruments onboard NASA’s Terra satellite, reveal newly created fissures on Kilauea.
Kilauea is the youngest and southeastern-most volcano on the island of Hawaii. It is one of the world’s most active volcanoes and has been in continuous eruption since 1983. Hawaii Governor David Ige has told the White House and the Federal Emergency Management Authority (FEMA) that the state will need help dealing with the volcano.
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