Officials warn of falling ash after explosion at Kilauea summit

Geraldine Edwards
June 15, 2018

Since May 3, Kilauea's lava, ash and rocks have destroyed about 600 homes, closed major highways and prompted health warnings.

A small explosion occurred at the summit of the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii, officials said Sunday morning.

Because tradewind conditions returned, vog was projected to carry to the south and west sides of the island, while plumes of noxious gas coming out of the ocean around the new Kapoho coastline were pushing those emissions south, farther out over the ocean.

Scientists say the blasts happened Monday, including one after a magnitude-5.4 natural disaster.

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Those earthquakes have continued near the summit, according to Jim Kauahikaua, a geophysicist with the US Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. Scientists warn against venturing too close to where the lava is entering the ocean, saying it could expose people to dangers from flying debris.

"Lava can't get hotter than where we are".

"Just a few days ago Kapoho Bay was a handsome vacation destination, filled with vacation homes, attractive beaches and clear water", Forbes wrote last week.

Approximately eight square miles of Hawaii's Big Island has been covered by lava since this period of activity began on May 3.

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The volcano has presented a myriad of hazards over its 40-day rampage across Big Island.

Over the last five weeks, 24 fissures have opened in and near the Leilani Estates community of about 750 homes on lots of at least one acre.

As well as the hundreds of homes lost, Kilauea has destroyed countless other buildings, forced thousands to flee their homes, and engulfed massive expanses of land.

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