Tee off with a volcano shot

A round of golf with a rumbling volcano in the background may sound risky, but this golfer in Hawaii was certainly game for it on Tuesday.

Ash and volcanic smog rose to 3,657m above the Kilauea volcano on the Big Island that day, showering cars with grey dust, prompting an "unhealthy air" advisory and triggering a red alert for aircraft due to risks the ash could damage jet engines.

On Wednesday, the volcano shot up "ballistic blocks" the size of microwave ovens, in what may be the start of explosive eruptions that could spew even-higher ash plumes and hurl boulders and rocks for kilometres around, warned the United States Geological Survey.

Such eruptions, last seen nearly a century ago, have been a looming threat since Kilauea erupted nearly two weeks ago. These would have the potential to carpet the Big Island in much thicker ash than current dustings, and spread the powder and volcanic smog farther afield if it enters the stratosphere.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 18, 2018, with the headline 'Tee off with a volcano shot'. Print Edition | Subscribe