Tuesday, 22 May, 2018

Hawaii volcano erupts from summit, shooting ash

The eruption from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano has been so massive  astronauts said they could easily see it from space.       A.J.  Feustel  Twitter The eruption from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano has been so massive astronauts said they could easily see it from space. A.J. Feustel Twitter
Sammy Stanley | 17 May, 2018, 22:26

Geologists had warned explosive eruptions could begin once Kilauea's falling lava lake descended below the water table, allowing water to run on to the top of the lava column and create steam-driven blasts.

A webcam image of the Kilauea volcano's Thursday eruption from the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

Volcanic ash is expected to reach the region to the southwest and west of the Kilauea Volcano Summit (Halemaumau Crater), including cities of Wood Valley, Pahala, Punaluu, Naalehu, and Hawaiian Oceanview Estates, the National Weather Service said in an advisory.

Kilauea volcano has been erupting continuously since 1983.

The state Civil Defense agency said the plume was drifting northeast and warned residents to shelter in place. Hawaii issued a red alert on Tuesday after the volcano sent a plume of ash about 12,000 feet into the sky, indicating a major eruption was imminent. "Shelter in place if you are in the path of the ash plume".

Ricky Arnold  Twitter
Ricky Arnold Twitter

The Hawaii Fire Department reported "extremely unsafe air quality conditions due to high levels of sulfur dioxide gas in the evacuation area", civil defense officials said on Saturday.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory says the strongest shaking was recorded around 8:30 a.m., measured as a 4.4-magnitude quake, and earthquakes are expected to continue.

The winds were expected to carry the plume toward the southeast part of the island, the largest in the state of Hawaii, and the authorities warned motorists that driving could become unsafe if visibility was impaired. "They didn't hear it", Ms Aton said. Hawaii volcano's "explosive eruption" after weeks of lava flowThe lava that has emerged over the last two weeks has destroyed at least 26 homes and 10 other structures. Communities a mile or two away could be showered by pea-size fragments or dusted with nontoxic ash, they said.

Part of the U.S. Geological Survey's Volcano Hazards Program, the Hawaii Volcano Observatory is perched on the rim of Kīlauea's summit caldera. The crater sits within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, which has been closed since May 11 in preparation for an eruption.

Officials have said the eruption isn't likely to be risky as long as people stay out of the closed park.

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