Accessibility links

Breaking News
USA

Along With Lava, Hawaii Volcano Spews Gems


FILE - Lava destroys homes in the Kapoho area, east of Pahoa, during ongoing eruptions of the Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii, June 5, 2018.

Residents of Hawaii's Big Island are being warned to stay indoors and keep windows closed after another eruption early Sunday of the Kilauea volcano generated a massive ash plume.

Lava from the volcano, which began to erupt more than a month ago, has covered more than 2,400 hectares of land and destroyed 467 homes, including a vacation home of Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim.

Video images show a raging river of lava flowing through a channel from Fissure 8 into Kapoho Bay.

Health warning have also been issued due to the creation of "laze," a mixture of lava and haze that forms when hot lava hits the ocean, sending a combination of hydrochloric acid and volcanic glass particles into the air.

But residents say perhaps Pele, the Hawaiian goddess of fire and volcanoes, is trying to make amends for the havoc created by the eruption. Along with toxic gas, ash, volcanic glass and lava, Kilauea has also begun spewing gemstones.

The green stones are olivine crystals, a mineral commonly found in Hawaiian lava. When large and clear enough, the crystals are turned into jewelry and the gem is called peridot. Big Island residents have reported collecting them from beaches and along roadsides.

But experts say Hawaii residents should not get too excited about Pele's gift, as olivine is one of the most common minerals on the upper mantle of Earth.

XS
SM
MD
LG