Kilauea volcano: Hawaiians warned of 'powerful' eruptions within hours

Explosive eruption at Hawaii volcano

But phreatic eruptions can still pose a deadly threat to anyone near the eruptive vent - and they are extremely hard to forecast, Poland said.

Hawaii County Civil Defense said northeast winds may carry the ash north toward Kau, Volcano, Mount View, Kea'au and Hilo. On Tuesday, a plume of ash from the volcano rose 12,000 feet into the air, dropping ash on sections of the island.

But clearly, not everyone was so anxious.

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

Hawaii News Now reports that "residents say volcanic haze across lower Puna is so thick it resembles fog, making visibility very low in some areas".

"If it's red, it's get out of Dodge", She said.

"Just a little while ago we had something that sounded like thunder", Hoyt said.

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Here's the latest for Thursday, May 17th: Robert Mueller is one year into the Russian Federation probe; President Donald Trump is casting doubt on trade agreement with China; Congo's Ebola outbreak is spreading; Hawaii's Kilauea volcano erupted from summit.

"We may have additional larger, powerful events", USGS geologist Michelle Coombs told reporters after Thursday's eruption.

The Scientists had warned for days about a main and major eruption because the lava lake that once filled the crater at Kilauea's summit began draining back into the ground. Hoyt explained the biggest concern though is the toxic sulfur dioxide that's seeping from the fissures caused by the volcano.

More than 2,000 residents of the Big Island remain under mandatory evacuation as Kilauea continues to threaten nearby communities.

HAWAII VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK, HI - MAY 15: A man drives a golf cart at a golf course as an ash plume rises in the distance from the Kilauea volcano on Hawaii's Big Island on May 15, 2018 in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii.

But by 1:30 p.m. (7:30 p.m. EDT) reported ashfall was limited to only light, wet deposits about 3-4 miles (5-6 km) northwest of the summit, as rain over the volcano curbed the spread of ash.

Though disruptive, even painful for people living near Kilauea - especially those who have already lost their homes - the eruption will not significantly affect life on the rest of the Big Island, Poland said.

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