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Volunteers From Colorado Help Volcano Victims In Hawaii

18 May 2018

A spike in toxic sulfur dioxide gas closed schools around the village of Pahoa, 25 miles (40 km) east of the volcano, where lava from fissures has destroyed 37 homes and other structures and forced about 2,000 residents to evacuate.

Kilauea is one of the world's most active volcanoes.

Geologists said the result would likely release trapped steam rather than lava, similar to the explosions at Kilauea in 1925.

Even before Thursday morning's explosive eruption, the ash plume from the volcano could be seen from the International Space Station.

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Such observatories already exist in Hawaii, Alaska, California, Wyoming and Washington, but the legislation would upgrade and integrate the systems, expand the number of volcanoes that are monitored and create a grant program that would support research into emergency technologies.

It was not the big blast scientists have been warning could come from the crater any time, and that threat - of an explosion that could produce flying boulders the size of cows - remained unchanged late Thursday. This new eruption has launched a thick gray plume of ash and dust towering about 30,000 feet or around 9.1 kilometers into the sky, followed by a rain of dust and small rocks on a nearby town.

Hawaii's Kilauea volcano spewed ash almost six miles (9 km) into the sky on Thursday and scientists warned this could be the first in a string of more violent explosive eruptions with the next possibly occurring within hours.

"They said they slept through it".

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Kilauea volcano has been erupting continuously since 1983. Masks for family members are advised as well, but residents near fissures should remember that cloth masks, like those now being distributed for free at certain community centers in the area, will not protect them from unsafe gases and vapors.

Scientists with the USGS have not yet figured out the cause of explosions like the one that happened Thursday morning. Hawaii's state volcanologist, Bruce Houghton, says that the current event appears to be a type of complex eruption that occurs only once every 50 to 80 years. New radar measurements estimate the volcanic ash plume to reach 30,000 feet.

Another phone alert warned: "The wind may carry the ash plume north toward Kau, Volcano, Mt View, Kea'au and as far as Hilo".

The National Weather Service has issued an ashfall advisory until 12 p.m. HST, Hawaii County Civil Defense reported. "Fortunately no (volcanic) vents opened up today, but this event is far from over". "So a big event that got people's attention but not with widespread impacts", Michelle Coombes said.

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Volunteers From Colorado Help Volcano Victims In Hawaii