Major eruption of Hawaii's Kilauea is 'imminent'

Red hot lava spatter into a copse of trees instantly setting them alight

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The newest eruption follows a damaging natural disaster, unsafe volcanic smog and large lava flows that are all threatening Hawaii's Big Island.

At present, Kilauea volcano is still having one of the most long-lived eruptions known on earth, which started in 1983 on the eastern rift zone and has mainly been concentrated at the Pu'u 'O'o vent.

"This has relieved pressure temporarily", U.S. Geological Survey geologist Michelle Coombs told a news conference in Hilo.

An "explosive eruption" - something last seen in 1924 - is increasingly likely and could see debris spread for many miles.

HAWAII'S Kilauea volcano is prone to turn into extra violent as intensified explosions proceed.

Scientists warned on May 9 that a drop in the lava lake at the summit might create conditions for an explosion that could fling ash and boulders the size of fridges into the air. It looked like it was a steam and ash plume.

Hawaii's Kilauea volcano erupted from its summit before dawn Thursday, shooting a dusty plume of ash about 30,000 feet (9,100 meters) into the sky.

Less than a quarter-inch of ash is expected to fall in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and in nearby communities after the Kilauea volcano spewed a light ash cloud early Thursday.




Though disruptive, even painful for people living near Kīlauea - especially those who have already lost their homes - the eruption will not significantly affect life on the rest of the Big Island, Poland said.

The National Weather Service warned: "Persons 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 eventual eruptions generated ash clouds more than five miles (8 km) high and threw blocks weighing as much as 28,000 pounds (12,700 kg) out of the crater.

Volcanic smog - known as "vog" - is now being emitted by the fissures, traveling toward populated areas and threatening residents with unsafe sulfur dioxide.

The volcanic eruption is harming his livelihood, he said, as he owns a music retreat and cultural center on his land.

The explosion at the summit of Kilauea came shortly after 4 a.m. following two weeks of volcanic activity that sent lava flows into neighborhoods and destroyed at least 26 homes.

It's a shield-type volcano making up the south-eastern facet of the Huge Island of Hawaii. "Protect yourself from ash fallout", it said.

But they expect them to continue.

Hawaii County Civil Defense officials confirmed late Thursday afternoon local time that the 21st fissure had opened in the Leilani Estates, and they urged residents there to "take necessary precautions" and "continue to be on the alert for volcanic fumes" of sulfur dioxide.

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