Devastating Pictures Show The Aftermath Of A Volcano

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Three months ago the Kīlauea volcano on Hawaii erupted sending rivers of lava flowing across the island, releasing toxic gases as well as causing numerous earthquakes.

While the response to the eruption has prevented any loss of life so far the damage being done to the island by the 90-metre high lava flows is simply staggering.

So far 9.6 square miles of the island has been covered in lava, burying 600 houses in molten rock as well as disrupting at least one major highway.

While it may not sound like much, the damage done so far makes it the most destructive in American history since the Mount St. Helens eruption back in 1980.

This Friday Charlie Capen went beyond the barricades protecting people from the red-hot lava to see the devastation for himself and what he found was pretty shocking.

First of all, it’s worth noting that Charlie went with the National Guard and was relatively safe from the bubbling magma but he had to wear some specialised gear to keep himself unharmed even shaving his beard as a precaution.

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He said:

We had to provide our own specialized equipment to participate. Eye protection, gas masks, etc. The “vog” was thick & saturated the sky’s colors, blocking the sun.

This is also why I had to shave my beard: on the off chance we could bear witness to something indescribable.

Indescribable is the word for it, his photos basically look like Charlie took a day trip to Hell complete with rivers of fire, red glowing skies and thick clouds of smoke hanging in the air.

Take a look at them here:

It is worth noting however that despite how dramatic these pictures may seem Charlie claims the reports in the media about the devastation have been sensationalised.

He said:

The national news coverage about this volcanic eruption is shocking and alarmist. Though scores have lost homes and the community has rallied, several locals I spoke to on the ground felt the coverage was over the top. Please consider supporting local charities and groups there.

The only reported injury from the eruption so far happened when someone was hit by a piece of ‘lava spatter’ (sounds painful) and suffered burns and a broken leg as a result.

As shocking as the Kīlauea eruption has been it’s got nothing on the aforementioned 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens which killed 57 people when it erupted.

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That particular eruption literally demolished half a mountain when it exploded with 24 megatons of thermal energy which makes it 1,600 times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

The blast reduced hundreds of square miles to an ash-covered wasteland, created a 600ft high wave when the debris hit the lake and caused $1 billion worth of damage.

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