Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano erupted on Thursday, cracking roads and spewing sulfuric gas. The event forced the evacuation of more than 1,500 people and triggered a series of earthquakes, including the largest to hit the island in more than 40 years, a magnitude-6.9.
Hours before the volcano woke, it spewed a plume of pink ash hundreds of feet into the air. How come?
Pu’u ‘O’o is a volcanic cone in the eastern zone of Kilauea. The extreme heat from the volcano had caused igneous rock in Pu’u ‘O’o to oxidize, chemically react with oxygen, turning it red.
Part of the Pu’u ‘O’o cone collapsed on Thursday after an earthquake, forming the crater. When the crater exploded, it basically entrained red rock “dust” (ash) into the plume, Krippner said.
On Saturday, two new volcanic vents formed, raising the total number of vents to eight. Along with spurring a mass evacuation, the geological disturbances temporarily knocked out power for 14,400 customers.