Hawaii volcano erupts, spews ash 6 miles into the sky - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Hawaii volcano erupts, spews ash 6 miles into the sky

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A column of ash from the  Kilauea volcano towers over the Big Island of Hawaii on May 15, 2018. A column of ash from the Kilauea volcano towers over the Big Island of Hawaii on May 15, 2018.
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Hawaii's Kilauea volcano erupted Thursday, blasting a plume of ash and debris 30,000 feet into the air.

The state Civil Defense agency said the plume was expected to spread to the southeast, warning residents in the direction to shelter in place. Driving conditions may be dangerous due to low visibility, the agency warned.

"5 AM eye-opener at the the Kilauea Volcano summit," the U.S. Geological Service tweeted. "HVO and Park Staffs previously evacuated."

Mike Poland, a USGS geophysicist,told the Associated Press the explosion likely only lasted a few minutes. He sais ash accumulations are minimal, with only trace amounts near the volcano and on the nearby town of Volcano.

Two weeks after a series of cracks began opening beneath the area, the lava is showing no sign of stopping. Wednesday afternoon, open pits or "vents" of lava roared and threw cinder-like ash into the surrounding jungle, igniting smoldering forest fires.

The lava seeping from Kilauea has forced the evacuation of nearly 2,000 people. More than two dozen homes have been destroyed in the rural Leilani Estates neighborhood area about 35 miles from Hilo, the island's largest city.

The is in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, which has been closed since May 11.

Contributing: Trevor Hughes; The Associated Press

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