Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano has erupted from its summit, shooting up to about 30,000 feet into the sky. Although nearby areas have been evacuated and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, where the crater sits, has been closed since May 11, officials don’t expect the explosion to be deadly as long as people avoid the area. The eruption of the volcano has been caught on video and we’ve compiled a list for you to see firsthand!
According to the Associated Press, Kilauea is one of the world’s most active volcanoes; looking at its history, an eruption killed one person in 1924, sending ash and dust in the air for a period of 17 days.
According to Kion 546, while, as mentioned above, the eruption is not expected to be deadly, nearby residents are being asked to shelter in place in order to avoid the eruption, if they are in the path of the ash plume, which appears to be traveling southeast thanks to the wind.
Thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes
Both local and global news organizations appear to be releasing video footage of the erupting volcano.
According to CNN, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory issued the following statement to residents, warning them to be careful while driving in the area:
“Driving conditions may be dangerous so if you are driving pull off the road and wait until visibility improves.”
At this time, while unconfirmed, there is speculation that this is a phreatic eruption, which is capable of sending ash plumes as far off as 12 miles from the summit. Phreatic eruptions can be hard to track, as they occur “with little or no warning,” as confirmed by Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologist Janet Babb. The ash itself is not believed to be poisonous but sulfur dioxide released by volcano fissures can be toxic.
Before the eruption, in a press release, the county’s Civil Defense Agency also issued the following warning:
“Severe conditions may exist such as choking and inability to breathe.”
“This is a serious situation that affects the entire exposed population.”