Explosive Eruption At Kilauea Shoots Ash Plume Miles Into The Sky

Kilauea

There was an explosive eruption at Kilauea's summit on Thursday morning, sending a plume of ash and smoke 30,000 feet into the sky. Hawaii Volcano Observatory officials warned that the ash cloud could cover most of Hawaii's Big Island. The National Weather Service issued an ashfall advisory as the massive plume started moving across the island. 

An Ashfall Advisory means that ash accumulation of less than one quarter inch is expected on vessels. It is recommended that vessels be prepared to take appropriate counter measures before putting to sea or entering the advisory area.

The advisory warns that "due to the sustained but low-level nature of ash production from Halemaumau Crater, ash accumulation less than one-quarter of an inch is possible." It suggests that residents with "respiratory illnesses should remain indoors to avoid inhaling the ash particles and all persons outside should cover their mouth and nose with a mask or cloth." 

The eruption comes the day after residents were shaken by over one hundred shallow earthquakes. The Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens neighborhoods have been the hardest hit since Kilauea started erupting earlier in the month. Lava has destroyed 37 structures, including 28 houses, forcing 1,800 residents from their homes. 

Michelle Coombs, an official with the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, warned that "the potential for larger explosions is still there." 

Photo: Getty Images

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