Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano Erupts, Releasing 30,000 Ft Plume of Ash

File photo

(From The Guardian)

Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano erupted anew before dawn on Thursday, shooting a steely gray plume of ash about 30,000 feet (9,100 meters) into the sky that began raining down on a nearby town.

The explosion at the mountain summit came shortly after 4am following two weeks of volcanic activity that sent lava flows into neighborhoods and destroyed at least 26 homes.

The eruption probably lasted only a few minutes, and the ash accumulations were minimal, with only trace amounts expected near the volcano, said Mike Poland, a geophysicist with the US Geological Survey.

Some people in the community closest to the volcano slept through the blast, said Kanani Aton, a spokeswoman for Hawaii county civil defense, who spoke to relatives and friends in the town called Volcano.

Authorities cautioned that wind could carry the ash as far as Hilo. The National Weather Service issued an ash advisory until noon. Several schools closed because of the risk of elevated levels of sulfur dioxide, a volcanic gas.

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