Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano erupts from its summit

Friday, 18 May, 2018

Authorities warned residents on Hawaii's Big Island to take cover following an explosive volcanic eruption that sent ash shooting 9,000 metres into the sky. "Kilauea and Mount St. Helens are different in nearly every imaginable way", she said. "I had let my dogs out, and I immediately went out to let them back in".

"With the Hawaiian volcanoes, you get that nice, red runny stuff, but they're generally not almost as explosive", Malone said.

At least one person who was awake heard nothing.

Less than a quarter-inch of ash is expected to fall in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and in nearby communities after the Kilauea volcano spewed a light ash cloud early Thursday.

About two hours later, Poland said the webcam view showed a dusty plume rising from the summit. "The one this morning is definitely the biggest we've seen so far". However, the ash did not affect regular commercial air service in Hawaii, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said in an email to Reuters. Pahala is the closest town west of the summit crater. "These areas are hazardous to enter, due to continued ground swelling, cracking sudden fissure activity and unsafe levels of sulfur dioxide", the advisory said.

Dr. Josh Green says those with respiratory problems should limit exposure to ash that spewed from Kilauea volcano Thursday.

"People need to stay inside until the winds shift and the ash has settled", he said. "We are in the process of raising the ceiling of the restricted area to 30,000 feet from 10,000 feet". The prohibition applies to a 5-mile (8-kilometer) radius around the crater.

United Continental Holdings Inc. says flights are operating normally and local officials say the major airports are as well.

Visitors learn about the soursop tree during a tour Tuesday at Greenwell Farms in Kealakekua
Visitors learn about the soursop tree during a tour Tuesday at Greenwell Farms in Kealakekua

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

Geologists had warned that a chain of explosive eruptions could begin once Kilauea's falling lava lake descended below the water table, allowing water to run on to the top of the lava column and create steam-driven blasts.

Geologists predicted such a blast would mostly release trapped steam from flash-heated groundwater.

Kilauea volcano began erupting earlier this month with a number of fissures opening up. "There may not necessarily be a big one, based on past eruptions at Kilauea", she said, but if there is, it could come in the days and weeks ahead.

The last time steam-induced eruptions happened at Halemaumau Crater was almost a century ago, when flying debris killed one and left a layer of ash over homes and cars.

However, Kilauea has experienced violent explosive eruptions in the past, Poland said, including several from roughly 1500-1800.

"There's so many variables".

"The volcanoes are very different in composition and style", he said.