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Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano Erupts from Summit
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Summary: Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano erupted on Thursday, spewing ash as high as 30,000 feet. 

A volcano erupted on Hawaii’s Big Island on Thursday, sending a volcanic cloud up to 30,000 feet in the air.

  
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“At any time, activity may again become more explosive, increasing the intensity of ash production and producing ballistic projectiles near the vent,” the US Geological Survey said to CNN. “Ballistic projectiles may be produced should steam-driven explosions occur. Impacts will be limited to an area around Halemaumau.”

The eruption stemmed from the Kilauea volcano’s summit, and the plume is expected to cover the surrounding area. Residents in the path were taken to a shelter, and the USGS said, “Driving conditions may be dangerous so if you are driving pull off the road and wait until visibility improves.”

Volcanic activity started on the Big Island on May 3, with openings occurring in the Leilani Estates. This volcanic activity destroyed at least 26 homes and displaced thousands of residents.

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On Tuesday, the USGS issued a red alert, and on Wednesday, an ash plume rose 12,000 feet into the air. The next day, the Kilauea volcano erupted before dawn for a few minutes and shot the ash that fell upon a nearby town.

Kanani Aton, a spokeswoman for Hawaii County Civil Defense, said that some people slept through the blast. Another resident told NBC News that he only knew about the volcanic eruption because of a notice on his phone.



Authorities issued an ash warning on Thursday, stating that wind could blow ash from the eruption into areas. This could cause breathing problems for residents, and there is a risk of elevated levels of volcanic gas.

At a press conference, U.S. Geological Survey volcanologist Michelle Coombs said this is one of the biggest volcanic eruptions they’ve ever seen.

“The one this morning was definitely the biggest we’ve seen so far just in terms of energy and how high up into the atmosphere it got,” Coombs said.

Geologists warn that the volcano can become more violent, and that more damage could occur. According to CBS News, “Kilauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes, has been erupting continuously since 1983. It’s among the five volcanoes that form Hawaii’s Big Island, and the only one that’s actively erupting. An eruption in 1924 killed one person and sent rocks, ash and dust into the air for 17 days.”

Robert Hughes, a local hotel owner, told CBS News that he has lost business because of the volcano, but he did not seem to be too worried about the actual danger from the lava or eruption.

“In the old days, people used to love to come see the volcano. They’d even take their little postcards, burn one corner in the lava flow, mail them off, stuff like that,” Hughes said. “Now they’re acting like it’s all super-dangerous and everything, but it just kind of oozes out.”

What do you think of the activity in Hawaii? Let us know in the comments below.



 

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