Hawaii's volcanic ash rose 10,000 feet

By Sommer Brokaw  |  May 19, 2018 at 6:00 PM
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May 19 (UPI) -- A small explosion at the Kilauea volcano overnight created an ash cloud that rose 10,000 feet, a Saturday alert from the Hawaii Volcano Observatory said.

The ash cloud was due to "a short-lived explosion" at around midnight, which was "carried southwest by the wind," the Observatory said. "Possible trace ash fall may have occurred along Highway 11."

The National Guard airlifted four residents out of Hawaii's lower Puna as fast-moving lava from fissure 20 crossed a road and approached at least 40 homes in a remote area.

The most recent fissure came after the most explosive eruption, so far, on Thursday, which sent a plume of ash up to 30,000 feet into the sky.

Eruptions on Friday were also particularly dangerous with five fissures producing hotter lava flow.

"With fresher, hotter magma, there's the potential that the lava flows can move with greater ease and therefore cover more area," Janet Babb, USGS geologist, told Hawaii News Now.

A series of fissure eruptions have spewed out lava and toxic gas since amid a series of earthquakes that have rattled the Big Island since May 3.

There have been 22 fissures to date, the Observatory said.

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