Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano erupted from its summit before dawn Thursday, shooting a dusty plume of ash about 30,000 feet into the sky.
The explosion came at about 6 a.m. local time (12 p.m. ET) after two weeks of volcanic activity and the opening of more than a dozen fissures east of the crater that spewed lava into neighborhoods, said Mike Poland, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey.
Residents who live in a nearby town reported light amounts of ash falling following the eruption.
Poland said the explosion likely only lasted a few minutes and that ash accumulations were minimal, with likely trace amounts near the volcano and at the town, named Volcano.
The lava that has emerged over the last two weeks has destroyed at least 26 homes and 10 other structures.
The crater sits within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, which has been closed since May 11 in preparation for an eruption.