Hawaii vol­cano erupts again

Tampa Bay Times - - Front Page -

Ash is spewed about 30,000 feet into the sky af­ter weeks of ac­tiv­ity.

HONOLULU — A vol­cano on Hawaii’s Big Is­land erupted anew Thurs­day with lit­tle sound and only mod­est fury, spew­ing about 30,000 feet into the sky a steely gray plume of ash that be­gan rain­ing down on a nearby town.

The ex­plo­sion at the sum­mit of Ki­lauea came shortly af­ter 4 a.m. fol­low­ing two weeks of vol­canic ac­tiv­ity that sent lava flows into neigh­bor­hoods and de­stroyed at least 26 homes. Sci­en­tists said the erup­tion was the most pow­er­ful in re­cent days, though it prob­a­bly lasted only a few min­utes.

Ge­ol­o­gists have warned that the vol­cano could be­come even more vi­o­lent, with in­creas­ing ash pro­duc­tion and the po­ten­tial that fu­ture blasts could hurl boul­ders the size of cows from the sum­mit.

Toby Hazel, who lives in Pa­hoa, near the moun­tain, said she heard “a lot of boom­ing sounds.” Those came af­ter days of earth­quakes.

“It’s just time to go. It re­ally, re­ally is,” she said, pre­par­ing to leave town. “I feel so sorry for the peo­ple who don’t go be­cause they don’t have the money or don’t want to go to a shel­ter and leave their houses.”

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.

At least one per­son who was awake heard noth­ing. Epic Lava tour op­er­a­tor John Tar­son is an early riser and learned about the erup­tion only af­ter re­ceiv­ing an alert on his phone.

USGS

An im­age of fall­ing ash from Ki­lauea, on the Big Is­land, from the Hawaii Vol­cano Ob­ser­va­tory’s we­b­cam.

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