About 150 National Guard Troops Responding to Hawaii Volcano Crisis

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Residents who live in a nearby town reported light amounts of ash after the eruption.

On May 4, Hawaii's Big Island was hit by a magnitude 6.9 quake, the most powerful to hit the island since 1975. The ship sails weekly round-trips from Honolulu (Oahu) to Kahului (Maui), Hilo and Kona (Hawaii) and Nawiliwili (Kauai). "Very likely there will be additional events". He's making sure the hundreds of evacuees that are using the shelter have food and a place to sleep, as well as any comfort they need during the stressful time. New radar measurements estimate the volcanic ash plume to reach 30,000 feet. According to CBS News, "Kilauea, one of the world's most active volcanoes, has been erupting continuously since 1983". Authorities have confirmed the fissure is the 16th to open. She said the ashfall was localized.

Volcanic smog - known as "vog" - is now being emitted by the fissures, traveling toward populated areas and threatening residents with unsafe sulfur dioxide.

So far, about 40 homes and other buildings have been destroyed by the red-hot lava that has been flowing from the volcano since early this month. The summit continues to emit plumes, some as high as 12,000 feet (2.2 miles, or 3.6 km) above sea level, the HVO said, adding that "at any time, activity may again become more explosive, increasing the intensity of ash production and producing ballistic projectiles near the vent".

Geologists say the latest eruptions are being caused by lava levels substantially draining at the summit. "Our state has five of the highest threat volcanoes in the nation, and as we're seeing in Hawaii right now, these volcanoes are a persistent and serious threat".

Geologists had warned explosive eruptions could begin once Kilauea's falling lava lake descended below the water table, allowing water to run on to the top of the lava column and create a steam-driven blasts.

The Kilauea volcano erupted Thursday, sending ash about 30,000 feet (9,144 meters) into the air. "They'd even take their little postcards, burn one corner in the lava flow, mail then off, stuff like that", he said.

Residents as far away as Hilo, about 30 miles from Kilauea, were noticing the volcano's effects. The openings also depressurized the network of underground channels beneath Kilauea, including its lava chamber.

In addition to monitoring the volcano's current activity, researchers are scouring data from Kilauea's extensive monitoring network - which includes tiltmeters, seismometers, and ground and aerial gas detectors - in search of any changes that preceded this explosive event.

But they say they expect no loss of life given that the most exposed residential areas have been evacuated and the region where the volcano is located - on the southeastern part of the island - is not densely populated. Crews were working in the subdivision in the last few days and have narrowly escaped situations that could have resulted in severe injury, the power utility said.