hawaii volcano
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A drone mission has alarmed scientists monitoring the erupting Hawaii volcano.
A drone mission has alarmed scientists monitoring the erupting Hawaii volcano, which has become one of the world's most dangerous and volatile sites.

Kilauea has shocked the world with streams of lava swallowing houses and giant fissures opening up across Hawaii.

The latest aerial drone footage of the volcano has revealed dramatic changes within the volcano spotted at one of Kilauea's main craters

There are new alarming cracks and fault seen in a collapsed crater, some of which are spewing with intense steam.

Scientists are concerned that an "expanding collapsed crater" and the debris blocking the vent could trigger a massive explosion.


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The Halema'uma'u crater has undergone a sudden transformation since the eruptions began in early May, including the surprising disappearance of a lava lake.

The drone footage from the US Geological Survey (USGS) shows "yellow sulfur substance on the rubble-covered floor and a scattering of large ballistic blocks around the crater rim".

USGS officials revealed that the empty vent once housed a 12-acre lava lake up until a few weeks ago.

The vent is currently empty of lava and has been stretched to massive 100-acres.

The boulders blocking the crater's eruptive vent have stopped huge clouds of ash emerging, but the consequences are unknown.

Kyle Anderson, a geophysicist with the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, said experts are uncertain whether this could end eruptions or cause another bigger explosion.

He said: "We really don't know the implications of this long-term.

"It's possible that new explosions will blast through the rubble at the bottom of the vent.

"These may or may not be larger than the previous explosions.

"It is also possible that the vent may become permanently blocked, ending the explosions entirely."

The depth of the crater is not yet known.

This comes as vulcanologists showed that the month-old eruption on Hawaii's Big Island has entered a new, quieter calmer phase inside the crater.