Saturday 26 May 2018

In pictures: Hawaii's Kilauea volcano erupts, shooting plume of ash 30,000 feet into the sky

This Wednesday, May 16, 2018, image provided by the U.S. Geological Survey shows lava spattering from an area between active Fissures 16 and 20 photographed at 8:20 a.m. HST, on the lower east rift of the Kilauea volcano, near Pahoa, Hawaii. Plumes range from 1 to 2 kilometers (3,000 to 6,000 feet) above the ground. Officials say some vents formed by Kilauea volcano are releasing such high levels of sulfur dioxide that the gas poses an immediate danger to anyone nearby. (U.S. Geological Survey via AP)
This Wednesday, May 16, 2018, image provided by the U.S. Geological Survey shows lava spattering from an area between active Fissures 16 and 20 photographed at 8:20 a.m. HST, on the lower east rift of the Kilauea volcano, near Pahoa, Hawaii. Plumes range from 1 to 2 kilometers (3,000 to 6,000 feet) above the ground. Officials say some vents formed by Kilauea volcano are releasing such high levels of sulfur dioxide that the gas poses an immediate danger to anyone nearby. (U.S. Geological Survey via AP)
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Hawaii's Kilauea volcano has erupted from its summit, shooting a dusty plume of ash about 30,000 feet into the sky.

Mike Poland, a geophysicist with the US Geological Survey, confirmed the explosion on Thursday.

People watch as ash erupt from the Halemaumau crater near the community of Volcano during ongoing eruptions of the Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii, U.S., May 15, 2018. REUTERS/Terray Sylvester
People watch as ash erupt from the Halemaumau crater near the community of Volcano during ongoing eruptions of the Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii, U.S., May 15, 2018. REUTERS/Terray Sylvester
This Wednesday, May 16, 2018, image provided by the U.S. Geological Survey shows lava spattering from an area between active Fissures 16 and 20 photographed at 8:20 a.m. HST, on the lower east rift of the Kilauea volcano, near Pahoa, Hawaii. Plumes range from 1 to 2 kilometers (3,000 to 6,000 feet) above the ground. Officials say some vents formed by Kilauea volcano are releasing such high levels of sulfur dioxide that the gas poses an immediate danger to anyone nearby. (U.S. Geological Survey via AP)
Ash erupts from the Halemaumau crater near the community of Volcano during ongoing eruptions of the Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii, U.S., May 15, 2018. REUTERS/Terray Sylvester
Ash erupts from the Halemaumau crater near the community of Volcano during ongoing eruptions of the Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii, U.S., May 15, 2018. REUTERS/Terray Sylvester
A man watches as ash erupts from the Halemaumau crater near the community of Volcano during ongoing eruptions of the Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii, U.S., May 15, 2018. REUTERS/Terray Sylvester
Kilauea up at Halema'uma'u crater at the summit is seen from Volcano Golf and Country Club in Hawaii County, Hawaii, U.S., May 15, 2018 in this picture obtained from social media. KIMBERLY BISHOP/via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT.
A plume of volcanic steam rises from the alignment of fissures in Hawaii's Kilauea East Rift zone, Wednesday, May 16, 2018. Earthquakes were damaging roads and buildings on Hawaii's Big Island on Wednesday as ash emissions streamed from Kilauea volcano. (Cindy Ellen Russell/Honolulu Star-Advertiser via AP)
This Tuesday, May 15, 2018 photo provided by the U.S. Geological Survey shows incandescence observed at Fissure 14 around 10:30 a.m. HST at Kilauea Volcano, in Hawaii. Pulsing, gas-rushing sounds could be heard coming from the crack. Yellow sulfur deposits appear on the crack margins. (U.S. Geological Survey/HVO via AP)
A highway sign near Hawaii Volcanoes National Park warns motorists not to stop during ongoing eruptions of the Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii, U.S., May 16, 2018. REUTERS/Terray Sylvester
This photo from the U.S. Geological Survey shows activity at Halema'uma'u Crater that has increased to include the nearly continuous emission of ash with intermittent stronger pulses at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the island of Hawaii at around 9 a.m. Tuesday, May 15, 2018. Plumes range from 1 to 2 kilometers (3,000 to 6,000 feet) above the ground. Officials on the Big Island of Hawaii say some vents formed by Kilauea volcano are releasing such high levels of sulfur dioxide that the gas poses an immediate danger to anyone nearby. (U.S. Geological Survey via AP)
Lava shoots into the night sky from active fissures on the lower east rift of the Kilauea volcano, Tuesday, May 15, 2018 near Pahoa, Hawaii. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones)

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

Those areas were evacuated as lava destroyed at least 26 homes and 10 other structures.

Ash erupts from the Halemaumau crater near the community of Volcano during ongoing eruptions of the Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii, U.S., May 15, 2018. REUTERS/Terray Sylvester
Ash erupts from the Halemaumau crater near the community of Volcano during ongoing eruptions of the Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii, U.S., May 15, 2018. REUTERS/Terray Sylvester

The crater sits within the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, which has been closed since May 11.

Officials have said they did not expect the explosion to be deadly as long as people remained out of the park.

Kilauea is one of the world's most active volcanoes.

An eruption in 1924 killed one person and sent rocks, ash and dust into the air for 17 days.

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 fridges into the air.

Scientists predicted it would mostly release trapped steam from flash-heated groundwater released as though it was a kitchen pressure cooker.

A man watches as ash erupts from the Halemaumau crater near the community of Volcano during ongoing eruptions of the Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii, U.S., May 15, 2018. REUTERS/Terray Sylvester
A man watches as ash erupts from the Halemaumau crater near the community of Volcano during ongoing eruptions of the Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii, U.S., May 15, 2018. REUTERS/Terray Sylvester

Kilauea volcano has been erupting continuously since 1983.

It's one of five volcanoes that comprise the Big Island of Hawaii, and the only one currently erupting.

Residents who live in a nearby town reported light amounts of ash after the eruption.

The volcano on the Big Island exploded at about 6am. Mr Poland said the explosion probably only lasted a few minutes.

Mr Poland said accumulations are minimal, and it will likely be trace amounts near the volcano and on a nearby town, named Volcano.

About two hours later, Mr Poland said the webcam view showed a dusty plume rising from the summit. It looked like it was a steam and ash plume.

Press Association

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