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Lava Flow In Hawaii Gains Speed, Triggers Methane Explosions 64

An anonymous reader writes Officials say molten lava from a Hawaii volcano has been flowing steadily in an area where residents have been warned they might have to evacuate their homes. Dozens of residents in the flow path have been told to complete all necessary preparations by Tuesday for a possible evacuation. From the article: "Janet Babb, a geologist and spokeswoman for the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, said methane explosions also have been going off. She said decomposing vegetation produces methane gas that can travel subsurface beyond the lava front in different directions, accumulating in pockets that can ignite. She said it was a bit unnerving to hear all the blasts on Saturday."
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Lava Flow In Hawaii Gains Speed, Triggers Methane Explosions

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Xenu just needs to drop some H-bombs in there and shut that joker down.

  • so that is molten molten rock?
  • Pictures? (Score:4, Funny)

    by jopsen ( 885607 ) <jopsen@gmail.com> on Monday October 27, 2014 @01:01PM (#48241899) Homepage
    How can we have a story about lava without pictures? I'm not sure how this is supposed to scare me :)
  • All the Hawaii PR department has to do is rebrand now. "Come see a real, genuine flaming hellscape. Don't settle for those fake Hollywood post-apocalyptic disaster landscapes. Come see the real thing!"
    • Re:needs rebranding (Score:4, Interesting)

      by machineghost ( 622031 ) on Monday October 27, 2014 @01:26PM (#48242297)

      No rebranding needed. The Big Island has never exactly been the key to Hawaii's tourism industry (most of the island, especially on the volcano side, doesn't even have sandy beaches.) Plus, just about everything tourist-y on that island already is lava-themed anyway. They've got a lava forest, lava tubes, steam vents powered by underground lava, the giant volcano itself ... heck they even had a highway that got overrun with lava and instead of fixing it they turned that in to a tourist attraction!

      • by cusco ( 717999 )

        Fixing it? How the frack do you "fix" a highway that had the last five miles buried by multiple meters of molten rock? Walk for half an hour from the current end of the road and you'll see a "No Parking" sign sticking up a couple inches above the solid rock. When we were there a couple of years ago there was an active lava tube a few feet below the surface just a couple hundred meters further along.

    • All the Hawaii PR department has to do is rebrand now. "Come see a real, genuine flaming hellscape ..."

      I realize that you are trying to be funny, but the volcanoes have long been a major tourist attraction on the Big Island. Thousands visit Volcanoes National Park [wikipedia.org], there are helicopter tours, etc. I once went on one of the helicopter tours, and it was an amazing experience to look straight down into an actively erupting volcano.

    • by Rei ( 128717 )

      Meh.

      If you want a flaming hellscape, Kilauea is a little candle compared to Bárðarbunga in Iceland. Kilauea erupts a couple cubic meters per second. Bárðarbunga erupts a couple hundred. Kilauea's gas emissions barely show up on satellite images. Bárðarbunga's just last night caused levels so high in a town a hundred kilometers away that it went off the top of the safety scale (which they got from Hawaii ;) ). Bárðarbunga has already erupted more lava than of Mauna L

      • by Lotana ( 842533 )

        Iceland is also cold. Contrast it with tropical Hawaii full of sunbathing eye candy :-)

        Also, although "Kilauea" is hard to say, I don't even know how to read "BÃrÃarbunga". How do you pronounce the 'Ã' character?

        • by Lotana ( 842533 )

          Damn you Slashdot for butchering my question after posting! Copy-paste looked fine on preview!

          Rei: How did you manage to post the unicode in the first place successfully?

          • by Rei ( 128717 )

            I just typed it. But Slashdot simply "disappears" thorn characters, which is annoying.

            Bárðarbunga is full of eye candy. I [wp.com] can [500px.com] point [kvennabladid.is] to [nationalgeographic.com] abundant [interrete.org] examples [blogspot.com] including [axelsig.com] no [youtube.com] shortage [youtube.com] of [youtube.com] videos [youtube.com] on [youtube.com] Youtube [youtube.com] / Vimeo [vimeo.com].

            As for pronunciation: Á is said "ow". BOWR-dthar-BOON-ka. The R is an alveolar tap or trill. If that's too hard for you, you can also call it Holuhraun (HOLE-ih-HROYN), Nornahraun (NORDN-uh-HROYN), THorbjargarhraun (THOR-Byardg-ar-HROYN), or a bunch of other names (the TH should really be a t

        • by Rei ( 128717 )

          Oh, and for the record, lava and snow are IMHO a beautiful reaction [www.ruv.is]. :) Fire and ice, baby!

  • If I lived in an area susceptible to volcanic activity, I'd have a plan in place to bug out in the event of an event. Compared to most natural disasters lava moves slowly and for the most part, scientists are able to accurately predict eruption risk ahead of time. I wouldn't wait until told to leave.

    I live in an area with a wildfire risk, and in fact last summer this area lost over 500 homes to the, "Black Forest Fire". My place was evacuated but didn't suffer any loss. Wildfires move quite a bit faster th

  • Why not just link directly to the USGS Hawaii Volcano Observatory website? http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/multimedia/index.php?newSearch=true&display=custom&volcano=1&resultsPerPage=20

  • by Rinikusu ( 28164 ) on Monday October 27, 2014 @02:42PM (#48243579)

    What are they feeding the volcano?

    "We said VIRGINS, not VEGANS."

  • people living next to an active volcano have to evacuate here and there... would have never guessed that.

    • the surprise is that they built a town there in the first place. now we're supposed to spend our tax dollars on this *emergency*

      • by NoKaOi ( 1415755 )

        the surprise is that they built a town there in the first place. now we're supposed to spend our tax dollars on this *emergency*

        First off, lava hasn't flowed there since humans have lived there (at least thousands of years), but we shouldn't spend tax dollars on disaster assistance there? What about Miami, where hurricanes hit regularly, or areas of CA where huge earthquakes hit regularly? What about Portland, where a volcano erupted a few decades ago? Should we not spend tax dollars for disaster relief those places? And I suppose if a tsunami hits any coastal city or town that we shouldn't spend tax dollars helping them out?

        • Lava hasn't flowed there since humans have lived

          Wrong.

          That volcano erupted in 1823, and the current eruption started in 1983, 31 years ago. Research before you spew bullshit, no excuse for those residents living there.

  • You know, there was a recent book by John Ringo that blamed the noise of weapons being discharged while fighting an incursion of Old Ones on methane gas explosions. You don't suppose... ?

    • by modi123 ( 750470 )

      Is that a good book line? It sounds like it is in a similar vein as say the Dresden Files, the Laundry Files, or the Sandman Slim series. Dealing with the other worldly that the regular folk don't see.

  • And assault lava.

  • My wife was out there Saturday night as a county volunteer with a pass to go into the restricted area. Her group walked right up to the flow on Ala'lli next to the transfer station (she's got some amazing videos on her phone, I'll ask her to upload them to Youtube later).

    She was the first to smell a sudden burst of methane, mentioning it the leader of the group, he shouted "we need to get out of here, now!" An explosion followed mere seconds after they has cleared.

    I cannot tell you how shaken I w
    • by Lotana ( 842533 )

      She was the first to smell a sudden burst of methane

      Not to doubt your story, but how did she smell the methane? Methane is an odorless [wikipedia.org] gas. This is why additional additives are included in the household gas for safety.

      • Technically correct, it was identified as a sudden "strange" smell as there are other gasses in those pockets, thankfully it was enough of a tip off. She's asked permission (because it was taken in a restricted area) to let me post her videos to YouTube, we actually have some of this on (dark) cell phone video. Quite cool, and very dangerous!

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