US & Canada

'Don't toast marshmallows on Hawaii volcano' says US government

Volcanic gases rise from the Kilauea lava flow that crossed Pohoiki Road near Highway 132, near Pahoa, Hawaii, US on 28 May 2018 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Kilauea in the US state of Hawaii is one of the world's most active volcanoes

The US Geological Survey has responded to a social media query on whether it is safe to roast marshmallows over a volcanic vent.

The answer is no.

Kilauea in the US state of Hawaii is one of the world's most active volcanoes and it has been very active in recent weeks.

Its red-hot rivers of lava have destroyed dozens of homes on Hawaii's Big Island, with 2,000 people being told to leave their properties.

Jay Furr from Richmond, Vermont asked the US government department whether it would be safe to roast marshmallows over volcanic vents using a long stick.

The US Geological Survey's Volcanoes Twitter account, which posts official updates and information on volcanoes in the US, responded to Mr Furr's query, saying that such an experiment would lead to a "bad taste" and a "pretty spectacular reaction".

They said it would not be safe and advised people not to try to do so.

Last week, people in Hawaii were warned about toxic fumes produced when molten rock flows into the ocean.

Kilauea is an extremely active volcano and its present eruption began 35 years ago.

A growth of volcanic activity in recent weeks has meant that it has quite literally been erupting in people's backyards.

Only one serious injury has been reported, after a man was hit by projectile molten rock as he sat on his balcony.

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Media captionLava flows have destroyed dozens of houses

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