Ash Clouds 🌫 from Kilauea Volcano 🌋 Prompt Red Alert ⚠ on Hawaii's Big Island

  |   World News

Officials warned residents and airplanes to stay away from part of Hawaii's Big Island after a plume of ash from the Kilauea volcano rose 12,000 feet into the air.

Since the Kilauea volcano erupted May 3, it's been one nightmare after another for residents on the southeastern part of the Big Island.

The US Geological Survey issued a red alert Tuesday, which means a major eruption is imminent or underway and ash could affect air traffic The USGS' Michelle Coombs described the situation as " very hazardous for aviation" and said her team isn't quite sure what caused Tuesday's slightly more intense ash emissions.

These are steam-driven explosions that occur when water beneath the ground or on the surface is heated by magma, lava, hot rocks or new volcanic deposits, the USGS says.

Of the 21 fissures, 17 is the longest, and has been shooting lava like a fountain and "sending spatter more than 100 feet into the air," the observatory said.

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