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Code Red Warning Issued After Explosive Eruptions From Kilauea Volcano #Hawaii #Volcano #science

An explosive eruption has occurred at Kilauea’s Summit early on this morning, local time, following days of warnings from officials.

An enormous and continuous plume of dark ash began spewing from a fissure on Hawaii’s Kīlauea Volcano with increased intensity on Tuesday. This prompted the USGS to issue a red alert for aviation, warning airlines and pilots to avoid the volatile area.

Aviators need to be wary of airborne ash, as the particles are large enough to impact the aircraft’s engines and cause engine failure.

The ash cloud reportedly reached as high as 10,000 to 12,000 feet above sea level. The height varied depending on the strength and direction of the wind, with falling ash and increased vog reported in Pahala, a town 18 miles downwind of Kīlauea, according to the USGS.

There are now 20 active fissures that have cracked open since the volcano’s eruption on Thursday, May 3, and 37 structures have been destroyed.

The observatory also remains concerned for the possibility of an explosive eruption at the volcano’s Halema’uma’u Crater.

“At any time, activity may become more explosive, increasing the intensity of ash production and producing ballistic projectiles near the vent,” according to the USGS observatory notice from Tuesday afternoon.

“This could generate dangerous debris very near the crater and ashfalls up to tens of miles downwind,” the Civil Defense Agency stated.

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“Earthquake activity, ground deformation and continuing high emission rates of sulfur dioxide in the area indicate additional outbreaks of lava are likely as this eruption continues,” the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reported late Saturday.

Several earthquakes up to magnitude 4.4 shook areas around the volcano on Wednesday as ground deformation continued.

“Employees at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park and nearby residents are reporting frequent ground shaking and damage to roads and buildings,” the USGS said.

“Strong earthquakes in the area around Kilauea Volcano’s summit are expected to continue and may become more frequent,” the USGS said.

Such fears prompted officials to close much of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park until further notice.

“Due to the ongoing seismic activity and the anticipated explosions caused by large rock falls, the interaction of ground water and lava and the possibility of an ensuing ashfall event, the Kīlauea portion of the park will be closed…until further notice,” National Park Service officials said in a statement.

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Mr Americana, Overpasses News Desk
May 17th, 2018