Biggest Eruption Ever: Hawaii Volcano Ash Rises 12,000ft High and Bursts Toxic Gas – Here’s How to Protect Yourself (PHOTOS)
Kilauea volcano has erupted near a residential area on Hawaii and destroyed a multitude of buildings, the local authorities declared an emergency and the obligatory evacuation of the local residents, CNN reports.
Waiting for a ‘big one’
Lava has been bursting more than 200 feet into the air, damaging everything on its way.
The residents have been forced to leave the populated area on Hawaii’s Big Island as Kilauea volcano erupted after a series of recent earthquakes. Puu Oo, a volcanic crater collapsed this week, bursting lava down the mountain to the residential area.
Source: REUTERS/Terray Sylvester
However, you should remember that the ash is not what you should be afraid of as it is not poisonous, but about toxic gases (sulfur dioxide) coming out 21 cracks.
Level of the toxic gas is above the normal in some of the areas of Hawaii’s Big Island. Moreover, several cases of people nearly choking on the gas were reported by the officials.
Took a real serious whiff of sulphur dioxide today near a vent and lava flow at Leilani Estates. The sensor in my hand was beeping and reached 66ppm. I couldn’t breathe, and eyes and lungs burned momentarily. It may have actually been the worst 10 seconds of my life. #Kilauea pic.twitter.com/aABWHyFcTl
— Scott McLean (@scottmclean) May 15, 2018
How to protect yourself from toxic gases
The Hawaii State Department of Health asked the residents to avoid any area with toxic gas and cracks because the gases emitted require special respirators.
A respirator is an item designed to protect you from inhaling toxic substances, for instance, sulfur dioxide. Respirators are a special protective equipment to help to survive in dangerous situations such as volcano eruption.
Source: The Home Depot
There are several kinds of respirators: particulate respirators, chemical cartridge, powered air-purifying respirator and self-contained breathing apparatus. Check out the guide how to make a gas mask on your own.
Sulfur dioxide is severely damaging to the eyes, membranes, skin, and respiratory tract. There is no antidote for sulfur dioxide. Treatment consists of support of respiratory and cardiovascular functions. That’s why try to avoid the territory with the fissures and, in case of the damage, transport the victim to the medical facility as soon as possible.
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