Hawaii volcano Kilauea erupts with 9000-meter ash plume

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The volcano on the Big Island exploded at about 6am.

These plumes are separate from the lava eruptions happening about 25 miles (40 kilometers) away from summit, where about 20 lava fissures have destroyed more than two dozen homes and forced the evacuation of about 2,000 residents.

Michelle Coombes said the eruption had temporarily relieved some pressure in the volcano but there may be more, larger powerful events.

The American Red Cross of Colorado and Wyoming has sent volunteers to help shelter people evacuated due to the volcanic eruption in Hawaii.

After an eruption from the Kilauea volcano's summit shot ash and smoke 30,000 feet into the air on Thursday, officials handed out nearly 18,000 masks to help residents deal with the fallout.

Though disruptive, even painful for people living near Kīlauea - especially those who have already lost their homes - the eruption will not significantly affect life on the rest of the Big Island, Poland said. On Tuesday, a plume of ash from the volcano rose 12,000 feet into the air, dropping ash on sections of the island.

"Protect yourself from ash fallout", it said. "I think it's going to be a series of explosions similar to the one that happened this morning, and that's based on what happened in 1924, which is really our only analog".

Depending on weather conditions, the USGS said, ash might fall as far as Hilo, 30 miles (50 km) to the northeast.

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An animated GIF the USGS tweeted out shows how far the ash cloud might travel.

Geologists say boulders the size of cows could be hurled from the summit if the explosions continue to strengthen.

Thursday's event was, if not the big one, then certainly a big one, researchers said.

The new fissure was discovered at Leilani Estates, the neighborhood in Puna where the first new fissures were seen earlier this month when Kilauea suddenly became more active.

Lava flows and several fissures started pushing out lava around the volcano site on the east of Hawaii's Big Island, emergency authorities on the island said. Here, a geologist inspects cracks on the road caused by the volcano.

Scientists can not say why the eruption is happening now, given that Kilauea has been active for 35 years.

Although they just returned from Hawaii a few days ago, Satterwaite said the National Guard members are ready to return and help out if called upon.

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