(BIVN) – An explosive eruption at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano sent an ash plume 10,000 ft above sea level at 4:07 p.m. on Wednesday. Downwind communities may experience ashfall, officials said.
The explosion was equivalent to an energy release of a Magnitude 5.4 earthquake, the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reported. The preliminary measurement was Magnitude 5.6.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center reported the earthquake was NOT large enough to cause a tsunami for the Island of Hawaii.
The National Weather Service issued this Special Weather Statement:
A burst of volcanic ash was emitted from Halemaumau Crater late this afternoon and additional bursts are possible tonight and Thursday. Trade winds will push ash toward the southwest, and ash fallout will likely occur over the Kau District and Highway 11 southwest of the town of Volcano. This includes the communities of Wood Valley, Pahala, Naalehu and Hawaiian Oceanview Estates. Ash is an eye and respiratory irritant. Take extra precautions to minimize exposure if you have respiratory sensitivities.
Due to the volcanic activity, Hawaii County Civil Defense provided the following information for those who may be in the affected area:
- If you are at home, stay indoors with the windows closed. If you are outside, seek cover.
- If you are in the car, keep the windows closed. Ash fallout may cause poor driving conditions. Drive with extreme caution, or pull over and park.
- After the hazard has passed, do check your home, and especially your catchment system for any impact that may affect your water quality.