Hawaii Volcano Eruption: Dangerous Volcanic Smog Blankets Sky in Marshall Islands, Thousands of Miles From Kilauea

The eruption of the Kilauea volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii is spewing more than molten lava and ash. It is also putting out 15,000 tons of “vog,” or volcanic fog, every day.

People living as far away as the Marshall Islands, 2,300 miles from Hawaii, are experiencing vog from Kilauea blanketing the sky. Symptoms include burning eyes, headaches and sore throats, Agence France-Presse reported Monday. 

"Everyone is having symptoms now on some level," emergency room physician and State Senator Josh Green told the Associated Press.

According to the International Volcanic Health and Hazard Network (IVHHN), people with asthma or respiratory problems should stay inside. Room-air cleaners can help, but masks and ventilators do little. The network also recommends that people avoid strenuous outdoors activities and seek medical help if they experience breathing issues. In the absence of wind, vog can accumulate in one area, which people should evacuate if the pollution increases. 

Vog Vog, a haze or smog containing gases, smoke and dust from volcanic eruptions, recently spread from Hawaii to other Pacific islands. Mario Tama/Getty Images

Trade winds are blowing the vog west, so any area east of the eruption won't likely experience strong effects from it. Tourism on most parts of the Big Island has continued as normal.

Water vapor, carbon dioxide and sulphur dioxide are the main ingredients in vog, according to the IVHHN. When a volcano releases this combination, called SO2, it reacts with the moisture, sunlight, oxygen and other gases in the environment. This turns SOinto fine particles which can travel far in the wind, spreading throughout the sky and potentially causing problems for those who inhale it. It is colorless but can obscure views with its soft haze over the landscape.

Latest Photos of Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano Eruption: Residents Flee as Lava Advances Towards Homes

The weeks-long eruption of Kilauea has damaged more than 50 properties and injured one man. Geologists predicted the eruption by measuring earthquakes and other geological shifts in advance, allowing local authorities to issue an evacuation order for the area. No fatalities are known.

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