A massive explosion has occurred at Kilauea Volcano this morning, sending a huge plume of volcanic ash more than 30,000 feet into the air. As a result of the immediate danger of that ash plume, the National Weather Service has issued an Ashfall Advisory for the waters that surround the entire island of Hawaii and for Kau District on Hawaii’s Big Island, which is the area south of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Additional Ashfall Advisories may become necessary for portions of Hawaii’s Big Island and perhaps for an area larger than the coastal waters around it; winds carrying the ash will help steer where the massive plume and its fallout goes.
Significant disruption to air travel to/around the Big Island can be expected.
Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports that an explosive event happened at 4:17am local time and the Hawaii County Civil Defense warns, “The resulting ash plume may affect the surrounding areas. The wind may carry the ash plume north toward Kau, Volcano, Mt. View, Kea’au and as far as Hilo.” They advise people on Hawaii of the following:
• The danger from this eruption is ash fallout. The major response is to protect yourself from fallout.
• If this event occurs while you are at home, stay indoors with the windows closed. Turn on your radio and listen for updates from authorities.
• If you are in your car, keep the windows closed. Ash fallout may cause poor driving conditions, due to limited visibility and slippery 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.