Kilauea volcano erupts, Hawaii hands out 18000 ash masks

Lava erupts following eruptions at the Kilauea volcano on Thursday

Such an eruption could not only shroud large areas of the Big Island in volcanic ash and smog, but also other Hawaiian islands and potentially distant areas if the plume reaches up into the stratosphere and ash is carried by winds.

In Hawaii on Thursday, may 17, there was another eruption of Kilauea volcano.

The experts of the US Geological Survey issued a red danger code, which means that there is an ash cloud in the air. One of the latest shots is a view of a "moonscape" with a massive rock in the middle.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory moved to a university campus after concerns that Kilauea could hurl big rocks.

Last year, the USGS said 16 active volcanoes made its California watch list.

Hawaii County officials have warned residents about sulfur dioxide, which is so thick in one area that authorities evacuated a neighborhood.

Hawaii's Kilauea volcano has erupted from its summit, shooting a dusty plume of ash about 30,000 feet into the sky.

The crater sits within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, which has been closed since May 11 because of the risk of a more violent eruption.

A geologist inspects cracks on a road following the eruption of Kilauea volcano
Image A geologist inspects cracks in a road following the eruption of Kilauea volcano

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.

Time lapse images show ash plume rising from the Kilauea volcano on the Big Island. The major response is to protect yourself from fallout. 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.

"I think it's going to be a series of explosions similar to the one that happened this morning, and that's based on what happened in 1924, which is really our only analog", he said of the almost century old event, which lasted 2-1/2 weeks and killed one person who was hit by a "ballistic block". Hoyt explained the biggest concern though is the toxic sulfur dioxide that's seeping from the fissures caused by the volcano.

Thursday's eruption, which occurred before dawn, produced an impressive ash plume, but otherwise caused minimal damage to surrounding areas.

It comes after more than a dozen fissures recently opened miles to the east of the crater and spewed lava into neighbourhoods.

As the lava level shrank, "there is nothing holding those walls up", Krippner said. About 20 fissures opened in communities along the volcano's eastern slopes, prompting evacuations of almost 2,000 residents and engulfing dozens of homes in lava.

FAA spokesman Ian Gregor says the flight restriction extends an earlier limit that was up to 10,000 feet (3,048 meters).

But they expect them to continue.

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