The U.S. Geological Survey said a recent lowering of the lava lake at the volcano's Halemaumau crater "has raised the potential for explosive eruptions" at the volcano.
The volcano.it's a real dynamic situation up there. we could have additional events like this morning that punch up and then die back down really quickly. we could have more sustained ash. The summit continues to emit plumes, some as high as 12,000 feet (2.2 miles, or 3.6 km) above sea level, the HVO said, adding that "at any time, activity may again become more explosive, increasing the intensity of ash production and producing ballistic projectiles near the vent". He has gas masks to protect himself from the toxic fumes and ash. Mr Poland said the explosion probably only lasted a few minutes.
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.
Geologists said it was extremely unlikely Kilauea would have a massive eruption like that of 1790 which killed dozens of people in the deadliest eruption to occur in what is now the United States.
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"They said they slept through it".
The USGS said, Depending on weather conditions, that the ash might fall as far as Hilo, 30 miles to the northeast.
Since a new zone of Kilauea began erupting nearly two weeks ago, lava has wrecked dozens of homes and forced hundreds of people to be evacuated.
A change in wind direction caused gas spewing from fissures to drift northwest towards Pahoa, prompting National guard troops to don gas masks at a nearby road intersection, according to a Reuters reporter.
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High levels of sulfur dioxide forcing more schools in the Puna area to close because of the air quality. She said the ashfall was localized. There have been no deaths or serious injuries reported during the current eruption.
"In the old days, people used to love to come see the volcano".
An aviation red alert was in effect due to risks ash could be carried into aircraft routes and damage jet engines, USGS said. Passenger jets generally cruise at around 30,000 feet, the height of Thursday's plume.
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.
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This was the main concern for the sinking molten rock which can create steam as it interacted with the water table and that the steam can be jet upward, hurling heavy rocks and ash into the sky in a phenomenon widely regarded as the phreatic eruption.