Screenshot of the HVO Observation Tower webcam on May 17, 2018. Image: U.S. Geological Survey

Video: Explosive eruption in Hawaii prompts ashfall advisory

Explosive eruption at Kilauea summit; ashfall advisory in effect

Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Update: 8:10 a.m.

A U.S. Geological Survey volcanologist described the pre-dawn explosive eruption at the summit of Kilauea as “short-lived” and not having a “widespread impact.”

Scientists Michelle Coombs said at a morning news conference at Hawaii County Civil Defense headquarters in Hilo that the event, which sent a cloud of ash and smoke up to 30,000 feet high, was “consistent with what we were thinking might happen.” She said the ashfall was localized.

She said it was a “real dynamic situation up there” on the summit, and that similar explosive events are still possible.

Coombs called the 4:17 a.m. eruption as the “the biggest so far” at the summit and that it may have relieved pressure temporarily in the caldera at Halemaumau Crater.

Although she could not say with certainty, Coombs said that the event appeared consistent with the dropping lava lake hitting ground water, as geologists have been expecting.

Update: 7 a.m.

Continuous ash emissions from Halemaumau crater are reaching as high as 12,000 feet. The earlier explosive eruption produced an ash cloud that reaches as high as 30,000 feet and is drifting to the northeast.

Staffs for the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park had previously evacuated Kilauea summit.

Update: 6:20 a.m.

Scientists reported an “explosive eruption” at the summit of Kilauea volcano shortly before 4:20 a.m. today that ejected a large plume of ash in the air, and authorities urged residents in the path of the ash to shelter in place.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports that that the explosive eruption at Kilauea summit occurred at 4:17 a.m. Agency officials said the wind may carry the resulting ash plume north toward Kau, Volcano, Mountain View, Kea’au and as far as Hilo.

Hawaii County Civil Defense issued the alert at 5:26 a.m., and warned that “the resulting ash plume will cover the surrounding area.”

Linda Ugalde, a 20-year resident of Volcano, said she heard and felt nothing, but stepped outside of her home at the Volcano Golf Course subdivision about 10 minutes after the alert to find a film of dark gray ash coating the railing on her lanai and the plants in her garden and yard. She compared it to the ash from a fireplace “except smaller.”

“Yesterday was not like this,” she said of the ash. “I had let my dogs out, and I immediately went out to let them back in.”

An ash plume from the caldera was visible from her home about two miles away from the Halemaumau crater, but Ugalde said it appeared to be a smaller cloud than Tuesday’s plume that shot ash some 12,000 feet into the air.

“It’s totally weird,” she said. “I mean, I expected there would at least be one of the bigger earthquakes just before, or a boom or something.”

As Ugalde watched from outside her house, she said the plume above the trees began to spread and moved over her home. “It could be mistaken for a rain cloud…but it’s getting more puffy, bulbous, whatever at the bottom,” she said.

“I’m not going to evacuate, we’ll shelter in place,” she said. She and her husband Edward have an enclosed cement catchment water tank and have already sealed it off.

Update: 6:07 a.m.

The National Weather Service amended their earlier ashfall advisory to end at noon today instead of 8 a.m. Friday. New radar measurements estimate the volcanic ash plume to reach 30,000 feet.

Update: 5:30 a.m.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports that an explosive eruption at Kilauea’s summit has occurred and expects the resulting ash plume to cover the surrounding area. The agency advises people in the path of the ash plume to shelter in place.

Driving conditions in the area may be dangerous and drivers are advised to pull off the road until visibility improves, according to Hawaii County Civil Defense.

—-

Original: 5:17 a.m.

A Kilauea Volcano ash plume estimated by radar at a height of 25,0000 feet prompted a new ashfall advisory for parts of Hawaii island through 8 a.m. Friday.

Volcanic ash is expected to reach the region to the southwest and west of the Kilauea Volcano Summit (Halemaumau Crater), including cities of Wood Valley, Pahala, Punaluu, Naalehu, and Hawaiian Oceanview Estates, the National Weather Service said in an advisory.

Ash accumulation less than one-quarter of an inch is possible over the advisory area. Eye and respiratory irritants with low-level impacts for most people.

More to come.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Rain, storms to hit Kootenays, Boundary amid flood crisis

Environment Canada is calling for 20 to 40 mm of rain by Friday

Thunderstorms headed to the West Kootenay

Environment Canada re-issued their special weather statement this morning,

UPDATED: Horgan says B.C. defending its interests in Trans Mountain pipeline

Canadian finance minister’s update comes the same day Kinder Morgan shareholders plan to meet

RCMP recover stolen items

Submitted Police in Golden recovered multiple stolen items just after 2 a.m.… Continue reading

Editorial: An innocent bear loses its life

This week one of the local conservation officers stopped in, letting me… Continue reading

VIDEO: Grand Forks shores up defences as floodwaters rise to peak levels

Canadian Forces, volunteers working to protect low-lying areas

Chilliwack Chiefs moving on to RBC Cup final after thrilling win over Ottawa

Kaden Pickering scored the winning goal in the 3rd period as Chilliwack won their semi-final 3-2.

VIDEO: As floodwaters recede, crews assess the damage to Grand Forks’ downtown

More than four dozen firefighters and building inspectors came out to help

Wellington Dukes pull off epic upset of Wenatchee at RBC Cup

The Dukes are off to the championship game after downing the Wild 2-1 Saturday at Prospera Centre.

Canada to face U.S. for bronze at world hockey championship

Canada was looking to play in the gold medal game for a fourth straight year, but saw 3-2 loss

Searchers for Vancouver Island father turn focus to Cowichan River

Cowichan SAR joined by many other SAR groups, volunteers now determined to find missing man

Vacationers urged to check for stowaway bats that could carry deadly disease

‘White-nose syndrome’ has killed millions of bats in North America, but hasn’t arrived in B.C. yet

Are B.C.’s gas prices enough to keep you from travelling May long weekend?

Gas prices in B.C. ranging from 125 cents per litre to more than 150 cents

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle wed in Windsor as millions watch

Windsor sparkled on a warm spring day as tens of thousands of people jammed its quaint roads

Most Read