Explosive eruption in Hawaii prompts ashfall advisory

18 May, 2018, 06:41 | Author: Kim Reid
  • Senate aims to improve volcano warning system

After a series of smaller eruptions, Hawaii's Mount Kilauea volcano saw what geologists call an "explosive eruption" which sent ash and debris flying 30,000 feet up in the sky.

This U.S. Geological Survey imageshows a view of the ash plume resulting from an early morning explosion at Kilauea Volcano, in Hawaii on May 17 (US time). "We may have additional larger, powerful events".

Magno said 18,000 masks that protect from particulates like ash were given out Thursday.

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.

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The explosion came shortly after 4:00am (local time) after two weeks of volcanic activity that sent lava flows into neighbourhoods and destroyed dozens of homes. However, the ash did not affect regular commercial air service in Hawaii, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said in an email to Reuters.

The area southeast of Kilauea volcano's summit is in a rural, remote part of Hawaii Island on its eastern edge, far from any major resort areas.

She said it was a "real dynamic situation up there" on the summit, and that similar explosive events are still possible.

Kilauea has been active since it began spewing lava into a residential area earlier this month.

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About a quarter-inch of ash is expected to fall in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and in nearby communities. Several schools closed because of the risk of elevated levels of sulfur dioxide, a volcanic gas. Passenger jets generally cruise at around 30,000 feet, the height of Thursday's plume.

It is also reported that was evacuated employees volcano Observatory and national Park.

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 refrigerators into the air.

An employee of a lodge near an erupting volcano on Hawaii's Big Island worries about the impact on tourism. These would have the potential to carpet the Big Island in much thicker ash than current dustings, and spread the powder and volcanic smog farther afield if it enters the stratosphere. The plume, a towering column of ash reaching into a hazy sky, looked different than others he's witnessed, because of its sheer height.

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