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Summit of Hawaii's Kilauea volcano erupts, launching plume of ash and smoke

17 May 2018, 10:23 | Devin Moran

Summit of Hawaii's Kilauea volcano erupts, launching plume of ash and smoke

Senate aims to improve volcano warning system

In another news, Hawaii News Now revealed that volcanic experts debunked earlier speculations that the upcoming big eruption from Mt. Kilauea could cause the same damages as the highly destructive Mt. Helens eruption that happened in 1980. Kilauea is one of the world's most active volcanoes. Then, a magnitude 4.4 natural disaster shook the main caldera of the volcano, causing damages to roads and properties within Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park.

The activity was beginning to show similarities to another event in the area in 1955 that lasted for 88 days, when far fewer people lived near the volcano, Ms Babb said.

For two weeks, it has sent plumes of ash 30,000 feet into the air, with newest reports stating rocks over two feet in size being thrown through the air. The agency advises people in the path of the ash plume to shelter in place.

The U.S. Geological Survey said an explosive eruption at Kilauea volcano about 5 a.m. local time sent the column of smoke and ash into the sky.

Phreatic eruptions are "notoriously hard to forecast, and can occur with little or no warning", Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologist Janet Babb said.

Hawaii County officials say the volcano's summit exploded at 4:17 a.m.




The eruption could not only enshroud large areas of the Big Island in volcanic ash and smog but other Hawaiian Islands and potentially distant areas if the plume reaches up into the stratosphere and ash is carried by winds.

More than 1800 residents in Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens had been ordered to leave their homes since Thursday, when public works officials first reported steam and lava erupting from fissures in a road, Ms Gabbard said. He said he's lost hundreds of reservations and had just three guests Thursday instead of the 12 to 14 he has typically served.

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

"The resulting ash plume will cover the surrounding area".

The news comes amid worsening air quality conditions on the Big Island, and as civil defense authorities continue to respond to Kilauea's ongoing eruptions in lower Puna, where thousands of people remain under mandatory evacuation orders.



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