Hawaii volcano Kilauea erupts with 9,000-meter ash plume | News | DW | 17.05.2018
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Hawaii volcano Kilauea erupts with 9,000-meter ash plume

After several weeks of lava spewing from various fissures, the Big Island's Kilauea volcano has erupted. People have been warned to protect themselves from ash fallout.

Hawaii's Kilauea volcano erupted on Thursday, sending ash 30,000 feet (9,150 meters) into the sky.

Authorities warned residents of the Big Island to shelter in place.

A lava flow from the Kilauea volcano, moves on a street in Leilani Estates in Hawaii

At least 26 homes have been destroyed by slow-moving lava oozing from fissures

Massive column of ash and steam

  • It started erupting early in the morning, lasting for only a few minutes.
  • Authorities said residents were safe so long as they stayed out of the surrounding Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
  • People were warned to protect themselves from ash fallout.

Code red

The Hawaii Volcano Observatory warned: "At any time, activity may again become more explosive, increasing the intensity of ash production and producing ballistic projectiles near the vent."

It maintained an aviation ban with a code red.

The floor is lava: For two weeks, slow-moving lava has been oozing out of various fissures, destroying about 26 homes. Kilauea is one of the world's most active volcanoes, erupting almost continuously since 1983.

A pressure cooker: On May 9, scientists warned that a drop in the volcano's summit lava lake might have paved the way for an explosion that could fling ash and boulders the size of refrigerators into the air. Geologists said the result would likely release trapped steam rather than lava, similar to the explosions at Kilauea in 1925.

Read more: Why risk living on a volcano like Kilauea?

aw/msh (AP, Reuters, AFP, dpa)

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