Eruption at Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano sends ash 30000 feet into air


But these golfers in Hawaii have rounds to go before they sleep.

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.

There's a lone webcam operating at the Hawaii Volcano Observatory's evacuated observation tower.

Thursday's explosion sent an ash plume around 30,000 feet high.

Michelle Coombes from the US Geological Survey said while it was a powerful explosion, it was short-lived.

But clearly, not everyone was so anxious.

The floor is lava: For two weeks, slow-moving lava has been oozing out of various fissures, destroying about 26 homes.

Nearby residents have been asked to shelter in place if they're in the path of the ash plume.

"With stratovolcanoes, when that lava reaches the surface, you get a very sudden expansion of that gas, and this generates a much more violent explosion", Malone said.

People watch at a golf course as an ash plume rises in the distance from the Kilauea volcano on Wednesday
Credit Mario Tama Getty
People watch at a golf course as an ash plume rises in the distance from the Kilauea volcano on Wednesday Credit Mario Tama Getty

Resident Lindsey Magnani said both of her children, a two-year-old and a three-month-old baby, were doing okay, but she and her fiance had both been sneezing all day.

Here's the latest for Thursday, May 17th: Robert Mueller is one year into the Russian Federation probe; President Donald Trump is casting doubt on trade agreement with China; Congo's Ebola outbreak is spreading; Hawaii's Kilauea volcano erupted from summit.

The wind could carry Kilauea's ash plume as far as Hilo, the Big Island's largest city and a major tourism center, the County of Hawaii Civil Defense warned in an alert.

The noxious gas, normally emitted at risky levels only from the volcano's Halemaumau Crater, was seeping at a greater rate from the fissures in Leilani Estates, a residential area of about four square miles in the Big Island's Puna district. "If given the opportunity and the call most likely we will head back out".

"Protect yourself from ash fallout", it said.

The volcano on the Big Island exploded at about 6am.

"It was a grit, like a sand at the beach", Joe Laceby, who lives in the town of Volcano a few miles to the northeast of Kilauea's summit, tells The Associated Press about the volcanic ash.

But by 1:30 p.m. (7:30 p.m. EDT) reported ashfall was limited to only light, wet deposits about 3-4 miles (5-6 km) northwest of the summit, as rain over the volcano curbed the spread of ash.