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An explosive eruption from Kilauea's summit on Thursday morning sent an ash plume soaring some 30,000 feet into the air, and officials are warning that ash emissions will cover a large part of the Big Island.
Coverage of the Kilauea eruption threatening Puna subdivisions.
National - Weather - Service - Advisory - Radar
The National Weather Service has issued an ashfall advisory after radar showed the massive plume.
Hawaii Volcano Observatory officials confirmed that there was an explosive eruption at around 4:15 a.m., but still have yet to assess whether it was a steam-driven explosion that they have been warning residents about for several days.
Eruption - Day - Quakes - Kilauea - Summit
The explosive eruption happened a day after at least 125 shallow quakes rattled Kilauea's summit and neighboring communities, causing minor damage to roads and buildings amid growing concerns about a violent, steam-driven eruption at Halemaumau Crater.
Michelle Coombs, of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, said the situation remains "very, very active and very dynamic."
Potential - Explosions
She added, "The potential for larger explosions is still there."
Geologists say the quakes are being caused by the ongoing deflation at the summit and as lava levels continue to decline. As of Wednesday afternoon, the floor of the Kilauea caldera has dropped about 3 feet.
Quake - Area - Magnitude - Dozens - Upwards
The strongest quake in the area was a magnitude 4.4, and dozens more have been upwards of magnitude 3.
Because the tremors are shallow, they cause greater shaking — and increase the potential for damage.
Employees - Volcano - Observatory - Residents - Shaking
Employees at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory and nearby residents are reporting frequent shaking, and the quakes caused several large cracks on Highway 11 along with structural damage to buildings at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
Also on Wednesday, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said rocks up to 2 feet wide were hurled from the crater to a parking lot hundreds of yards away.
Explosions - Onset - Activity
The "ballistic" rocks "reflect the most energetic explosions yet observed and could reflect the onset of steam-driven explosive activity....
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