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18 May 2018, 02:53 | Devin Moran
AFP Getty Images
Robert Hughes, who owns a bed and breakfast near the crater, said he's more concerned about the business he'll lose as a result of the volcano's activity.
Michelle Coombs, a U.S. Geological Survey geologist, described it as a "a big event that got people's attention but not with widespread impact". One of the latest shots is a view of a "moonscape" with a massive rock in the middle.
Rain kept the ash from going very far, and the ashfall was light, but officials still warned people in the area on Hawaii's Big Island to stay indoors and to use the masks.
"We may have additional, larger events, more powerful events, kind of like what we saw earlier this morning". Ash plumes on Tuesday had spouted as high as 12,000 feet (3,657 meters) into the air, scientists said.
After an eruption from the Kilauea volcano's summit shot ash and smoke 30,000 feet into the air on Thursday, officials handed out nearly 18,000 masks to help residents deal with the fallout.
As the volcano continues to erupt, the lava lake at Kilauea's summit is draining below the water table, allowing groundwater to seep into the system. Masks for family members are advised as well, but residents near fissures should remember that cloth masks, like those now being distributed for free at certain community centers in the area, will not protect them from unsafe gases and vapors.
Due to elevated sulfur dioxide levels, Pahoa High, Intermediate, and Elementary School Complex, Keonepoko Elementary, Hawaii Academy of Arts and Science, Volcano School of Arts and Science will be closed. This type of eruption has the potential to carpet the Big Island in much thicker ash than current dustings.
Recent explosions have been steam-driven, occurring when water beneath the ground or on the surface is heated by magma, lava, hot rocks or new volcanic deposits, the USGS says. New radar measurements estimate the volcanic ash plume to reach 30,000 feet. But ash could still present a problem for people with respiratory problems, and officials are monitoring the wind and weather patterns to predict where the ash from the volcano will go.
Fenix Grange of the state Department of Health said 10 new air quality monitors have been installed "circling the rift areas".
News coverage of the Big Island events have been pretty balanced, Tolentino said, but noted that inaccuracies have not helped, especially when a national news outlet reported Oahu residents were forced to evacuate.
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