Newest Hawaii volcanic ash plume rises to about 10,000 feet

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An eruption at Hawaii’s Kilauea summit Thursday sent a plume of ash skyward, about 10,000 feet above sea level, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

The “small but fairly ash-rich” explosion happened from Overlook Crater at the summit, the agency reported.

The resulting ash cloud reached its peak before being carried to the southwest by trade winds, the USGS said.

There were also three lava flows entering the Pacific Ocean between Pohoiki Bay and MacKenzie State Park, on the easternmost side of the Big Island, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reported.

A ground opening designated as Fissure 7 reactivated Thursday morning and was “actively fountaining lava,” the volcano observatory said. The lava flow was moving eastbound into the island's Leilani Estates subdivision.

"A perched lava pond at Fissure Seven glows brightly," the USGS said.

Hawaii Civil Defense officials warned residents in the path of the lava flows to be “prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice,” the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.


“It’s scary because I have friends and family that have houses right here, and I mean, next would be my house,” Leilani Estates resident Ken Szymanski told the Star-Advertiser.

“Beautiful, but devastating,” he said of the lava lake in front of his home.

Eruptions have been occurring at Kilauea for decades, but the most recent series of events began May 3. Since then, more than 20 vents have opened in the ground that have released lava, sulfur dioxide and steam.

The lava has been pouring down from the volcano and into the ocean, and has destroyed 50 buildings, including about two-dozen homes on the Big Island.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.