Hawaii Volcano Blows Its Top
Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano erupted from its Summit before dawn Thursday, shooting a dusty plume of ash about 30,000 ft into the sky.
The explosion came at about 6:00a local time after 2 weeks of volcanic activity and the opening of more than 12 fissures east of the crater that spewed lava into neighborhoods, said Mike Poland, a geophysicist with the US Geological Survey (USGS).
Residents who live in a nearby town reported light amounts of ash falling following the eruption.
Mr. Poland said the explosion likely only lasted a few minutes and that ash accumulations were minimal, with likely trace amounts near the volcano and at the town, named Volcano.
The lava that has emerged over the last 2 weeks has destroyed at least 26 homes and 10 other structures.
The crater sits within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, which has been closed since 11 May in preparation for an eruption.
Officials have said they did not expect the explosion to be deadly as long as people remained out of the closed National Park.
Kilauea is 1 of the world’s most active volcanoes. An eruption in Y 1924 killed 1 person and sent rocks, ash and dust into the air for 17 days.
Scientists warned on 9 May that a drop in the lava lake at the Summit might create conditions for an explosion that could fling ash and boulders into the air.
Scientists predicted it would mostly release trapped steam from flash-heated groundwater released as though it was a kitchen pressure cooker.
Communities a mile or two away may be showered by pea-size fragments or dusted with nontoxic ash, they said.
Kilauea volcano has been erupting continuously since Y 1983.
It is 1 of 5 volcanoes that comprise the Big Island of Hawaii, and the only 1 erupting now