The Kilauea volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island exploded late Sunday, officials said, warning of potential “significant emissions” of volcanic ash into the atmosphere.
The United States Geological Survey (USGS) said the eruption has started within the summit of Kilauea after 9:30 pm local time (0730 GMT).
“The situation is evolving rapidly and HVO (Hawaii Volcanic Observatory) will issue another statement if more information is available.”
Bills of red smoke appear in the night sky in images posted by Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
The USGS warned of “significant emissions of volcanic ash into the atmosphere” and reddened its aviation color code, advising pilots to avoid the area around Kilauea.
The National Weather Service reported that prevailing winds could push the ashes towards communities southwest of the Big Island and said people with respiratory problems should take “extra precautions”.
The USGS reported a shallow, 4.4-magnitude earthquake near the volcano soon after the eruption.
Kiloua, a popular tourist attraction, is one of the most active volcanoes in the world and has been eroding regularly since the 1950s.
In 2014, the Big Island declared a state of emergency after red-hot lava erupted from Kilauea and threatened Pahoa, an entire city on the eastern tip of the island.
The Hawaiian Islands, or larger islands, are the largest of the eight main islands that make up the Pacific American state – an archipelago consisting of hundreds of small volcanic islands.
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