Kilauea Volcano’s ‘Explosive’ Eruption Shoots Ash and Smoke 30,000 Feet into the Air
By David E. Hubler
Contributor, EDM Digest
An “explosive eruption” from the Kilauea volcano’s summit shot ash and smoke high into the air early Thursday morning. The volcanic cloud reached 30,000 feet, the U.S. Geological Survey said.
No injuries were reported. However, nearby residents were urged to shelter in place if they were in the path of the ash plume. The wind was carrying the plume to the northeast of the volcano, the USGS said.
Driving conditions may be dangerous, the observatory warned. “Drivers should pull off the road and wait until visibility improves.”
According to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, USGS geologist Michelle Coombs said the pre-dawn eruption was “short-lived” and was not having a “widespread impact.” She told a morning news conference in Hilo that the event was “consistent with what we were thinking might happen.”
New Volcanic Activity May Lead to More Explosions
Nevertheless, the USGS warned that at any time “activity may again become more explosive, increasing the intensity of ash production and producing ballistic projectiles near the vent.
“Ballistic projectiles may be produced should steam-driven explosions occur. Impacts will be limited to an area around Halemamau,” the USGS added. Halemaumau is the crater within Kilauea’s summit caldera.
Electrical Infrastructure Impacted by Seismic Activity
Power poles and wires continue to fall due to changes in the ground formation and seismic activity, the Hawaii Electric Light company said. The utility is warning residents to assume that all downed lines and equipment are energized and dangerous, television station KITV reported.
Hawaii Electric Light also announced that a portion of Leilani Estates and all of Lanipuna Gardens have been designated a no-entry zone for its work crews. “These areas are hazardous to enter, due to continued ground swelling, cracking sudden fissure activity and unsafe levels of sulfur dioxide,” the advisory said.
At least 19 fissures have cracked open since Kilauea erupted on May 3, spewing lava and sulfur dioxide fumes from deep underground.