Hawaii volcano spews 9 km-high plume of ash

Hawaii-Volcano-30

Hawaii-Volcano-30

Hawaii's Kilauea volcano spewed ash almost six miles (30,000 feet/9 km) into the air on Thursday and scientists warned this could be the first of a string of explosive eruptions in the crater.

Broadcasting on local radio stations, Hawaii Civil Defense officials also warned that ash poses are the main health threat from the eruption.

Authorities by afternoon said weak winds and rain meant that ash fallout from the latest eruption was largely contained in areas around the Kilauea summit.

The latest steam-driven burst on Thursday came two days after Halemaumau crater sent "ballistic blocks" of rock and another massive plume of volcanic ash shooting into the sky.

The US Geological Survey had warned that an explosive eruption at Kilauea was becoming more likely as the volcano's lava lake was lowering.

Some Big Island residents had feared "the big one" after Kilauea shot anvil-sized "ballistic blocks" into the visitors' vehicle park on Wednesday and was rocked by earthquakes that damaged buildings and cracked roads in the park that was closed last week. "We all live in a circle around this volcano", said Benevides, 55.

Hawaii-Volcano-31

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

Historically, Kilauea's rumblings have not been as deadly as other volcanoes around the world, said Steve Malone, an emeritus research professor of volcanology at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Hoyt, who also happens to be the mayor pro tem of Walsenburg, is one of two Red Cross volunteers now in Hawaii.

Its last explosive eruption took place in 1924.

PAHOA, HI - MAY 16: Eruptive activity from the Kilauea volcano continues in the vicinity of fissure 17 with cooling lava (center and center left) on Hawaii's Big Island on May 16, 2018 in Pahoa, Hawaii.

Residents as far away as Hilo, about 50 kilometres from Kilauea, were starting to notice the volcano's effects. He explained from time to time he can feel the rumblings from the active volcano. Eruptions involving magma offer warning signs for a potential evacuation, that is consists of the inflation of the surrounding ground, seismic activity caused rocks break and changes in the gases being vented. More than 30 people were killed when a 2014 phreatic eruption at Japan's Mount Ontake are not aware of the summit.

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