Officials warn of falling ash after explosion at Kilauea summit

Officials warn of falling ash after explosion at Kilauea summit

Small explosions at the summit of an erupting Hawaii volcano could send ash into communities.

"We've pretty much thrown everything at this event" since a series of lava fissures began emerging from cracks in neighborhood last month, Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency Administrator Talmadge Magno said Monday. The fissure's plumes of lava are feeding a fast-moving channel that is flooding into the sea at Kapoho Bay-an area that was recently an oceanside resort.

Kilauea volcano is near-constantly erupting from vents either on its summit (caldera) or on the rift zones.

The USGS warns against trying to explore the risky ocean entry points because the potentially explosive meeting of lava and water can send debris flying.

The lava's entry into the ocean was also producing laze - a hazardous mix of acidic steam, hydrochloric acid gas and tiny shards of volcanic glass.

The Hawaii eruption, with high walls of slow-moving lava, has engulfed about 600 homes since May 3, Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim said last week.

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While the lava continues to spew in lower Puna, seismic events at Kilauea volcano's summit are also continuous. Many won't: FEMA payments generally won't cover second homes or vacation property or buildings erected without proper permits, and numerous properties in the path of the lava fall into those categories. Residents have been warned to avoid the area.

That amount of lava could fill 45,400 Olympic-sized swimming pools and more than 11 million dump trucks, and it could cover Manhattan Island to a depth of more than six feet.

Another ongoing hazard comes from lava meeting the ocean.

He also said the federal agency doesn't have a magic wand and won't be able to make everyone whole.

Eruptions on the Big Island started May 3, forcing thousands to flee their homes.

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