'Explosive' Eruption At Hawaii Volcano Sends Ash 30000 Feet In The Sky

Minnie Murray
May 18, 2018

A U.S. Geological Survey volcanologist described the pre-dawn explosive eruption at the summit of Kilauea as "short-lived" and not having a "widespread impact".

The National Weather Service issued an ash advisory and then extended it through early evening, and county officials distributed ash masks to area residents.

USGS geologist Michelle Coombs giving a status update about Hawai'i's Kilauea volcano.

Kilauea has been erupting continuously since 1983 and an uptick in volcanic activity that began two weeks ago has already destroyed at least 26 homes and caused thousands of residents to evacuate.

That rock was hurled from the volcano's Overlook crater and landed in an ash-covered parking lot.

"With the Hawaiian volcanoes, you get that nice, red runny stuff, but they're generally not almost as explosive", Malone said. A video he shared on Facebook showed a towering column of ash reaching into a hazy sky.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports that that the explosive eruption at Kilauea summit occurred at 4:17 a.m. Agency officials said the wind may carry the resulting ash plume north toward Kau, Volcano, Mountain View, Kea'au and as far as Hilo. "We may have additional larger, powerful events".

And as for the so-called "big one", geologists say it's a waiting game. "Protect yourself from ash fallout". "We all live in a circle around this volcano", said Benevides, 55. "And it is not likely to turn into some catastrophic event", he added further.

Lava erupting from the Kilauea volcano in Kapoho, Hawaii. In these days, smaller eruptions there sent ash surging into the sky.

It was not the big blast scientists have been warning could come from the crater any time, and that threat - of an explosion that could produce flying boulders the size of cows - remained unchanged late Thursday. The eventual eruptions generated ash clouds more than five miles high which threw blocks weighing as much as 28,000 pounds out of the crater.

Its last explosive eruption took place in 1924.

Civil defense workers handed out one ash mask per family member in communities close to Kilauea, such as the village of Volcano, which was expected to receive a 1/32 of an inch (0.8 millimeters) dusting of ash, according to USGS estimates.

Mount Pinatubo last erupted in 1991, killing more than 350 people in what became the second-largest eruption of the 20th century.

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