Monday, 28 May, 2018

Ash cloud from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano sparks red alert for aircraft

Another ashfall warning issued for Big Island following ash plume from Halemaumau Crater Major eruption of Hawaii's Kilauea is 'imminent'
Jay Anderson | 17 May, 2018, 02:05

The alert is the highest caution level for volcanic activity, issued when an eruption is forecast or has begun.

A shift in winds is expected to send the ash fall cloud from Kilauea into the southwest region of the erupting volcano summit, including the neighbourhoods of Wood Valley, Pahala, Punaluu, Naalehu, and Hawaiian Oceanview Estates.

Unsafe levels of sulfur dioxide gas and other emissions prompted state health officials to urge residents to stay indoors or leave the eastern end of Hawaii's Big Island, which has been ravaged by volcanic activity since May 3.

On Tuesday, a plume of ash from the volcano rose 12,000 feet into the air, dropping ash on large sections of the island.

Stunning photos taken at Hawaii's Big Island on Tuesday show golfers coolly hitting the links even as a monstrous ash plume looms behind them.

Ash is a new hazard for Hawaii's Big Island, already grappling with volcanic gas and lava that has destroyed 37 homes and other structures and forced the evacuation of about 2,000 residents from communities in the southeast Puna district. The new Volcanic Activity Notice issued by the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. Geological Survey said ash coming from a vent near the mountain's crater "has generally increased in intensity".




The U.S. Geological Survey has updated its volcano warning on Hawaii's Big Island to an aviation Red Alert, signifying a big eruption of Kilaueu volcano is "imminent".

But these golfers in Hawaii have rounds to go before they sleep.

"This morning dense ballistic blocks up to 60 cm (2 feet) across were found in the parking lot a few hundred yards (meters) from Halemaumau (Kilauea's crater)", the USGS said in a statement.

The area taking the brunt of the eruption is about 25 miles down Kilauea's eastern flank, near the village of Pahoa.

Road crews put metal plates over steaming cracks on nearby Highway 130 and reopened it to give coastal residents an escape route should a lava flow reach the ocean and block another road, Highway 137, Civil Defence said.

The historic eruption lasted just over a month.

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