>> The month long eruption of Kilauea Volcano on Hawaii's big island has entered a new seemingly calmer phase inside the summit crater. But volcanologists watching Kilauea's every move during the last four weeks added that the latest change in the volcano's behavior leaves them uncertain about what will follow.
Although the summit crater of the Kilauea has fallen silent for the moment, many of the two dozens volcanic fissures are running through populated areas on its eastern flank, continue to ooze larva and toxic gases that prompted the evacuation of some 2,500 residents. At least 75 homes, most of them in the hard hit community of Leilani Estates, have been devoured by streams of red hot, molten rock creeping across the landscape since May 3rd.
Another issue has been the occurrence of what's called Pele's hair. Fine, glass-like fibers of volcanic material produced by fountains of lava, and carried by the wind. The filament, named for the mystical goddess of volcanos, can cause skin, eye, and respiratory irritation, like fiberglass. It's just one of several airborne volcano hazards, including emissions of sulfur dioxide gas, wind-blown ash, and noxious clouds of laze, formed when lava reacts with seawater to form a mix of acid fumes, steam, and glass-like shards.