MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano started actively erupting last week and it likely will not stop for months. The pressure underneath the surface of the volcano caused a flow of lava to bubble from underneath the surface.
These cracks have resulted in evacuations and even caused the destruction of dozens of buildings and homes. There are no reported injuries at this time.
1. Although the volcano just recently started aggressively erupting, it has actually slowly been erupting since 1983. Scientists knew the pool of molten rock below the surface would eventually bubble up, but it was just a matter of when.
2. Currently, scientists are not sure how long this activity will last, but they know it will be a matter of months.
3. Magma is the molten rock below the surface and lava is when it rises above the surface. Scientists have actually been able to smell the sulfur-smelling magma wafting from the cracks before the lava shoots out.
4. Unlike the classic volcano photos you see with one giant crater, Kilauea has multiple craters. This is why there are several areas with cracks in the surface. Scientists are not sure where new cracks (or fissures) will develop. Sometimes lava will flow out of the cracks and other times it will not.
5. Lava gets to a temperature of approximately 2000 degrees Fahrenheit, which is why it can quickly destroy cars and buildings.