Kilauea let off a “short-lived steam explosion” around midnight, producing an ash cloud that rose an estimated 10,000 feet, the Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency said in a statement Saturday.
Another “brief explosive eruption” was reported at 7:45 a.m. Saturday, according to the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration. “Additional explosions are possible at any time with little warning,” the NOAA said in a statement.
Authorities said gas emissions from Kilauea were a serious threat for “downwind” locals. “Residents are reminded to protect themselves from ash fallout by remaining indoors,” the civil defense agency stated.
Lava from Kilauea’s fissure 20 flowed west of Pohoiki Road, near Malama Ki Place, where those homes were taken out, officials said. The flow isolated about 40 residences, authorities said. Residents should be ready to flee at a moment’s notice, they said.
Officials said a flow is less than a mile away from Highway 137 in Puna district, and that at the flow’s current speed Saturday afternoon it may cross the highway in the next several hours.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park was closed May 11 as its star, Kilauea, reanimated and sparked earthquakes, eruptions and lava flows.