- The United States Geological Survey (USGS) issued the highest possible warning meaning “major volcanic eruption is imminent, underway, or suspected with hazardous activity both on the ground and in the air”.
- USGS said planes could be affected with the ash from Kilauea travelling into air routes.
- Ash and volcanic smog, also known as vog, has reached the community of Pahala, located 18 miles (29km) from the summit.
- Around 2,000 residents have already been evacuated from Big Island with Hawaiian authorities on standby for mass evacuations should the explosions worsen
- One of the worst affected ares is 25 miles (40 km) down Kilauea’s eastern flank, near the village of Pahoa. Lava has swept through residenial properties and farmland, and is threatening one of the last exit routes from coastal areas, state Highway 132.
- Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) Deputy Scientist-In-Charge Steve Brantley warned: ”At any time, activity may become more explosive, increasing the intensity of ash production and producing ballistic projectiles near the vent.”
Tuesday, May 16
8.29am: USGS says Kilauea ‘explosive eruption could scatter debris 12 miles wide
USGS is warning there could still be an “explosive eruption” of Kilauea, last seen in 1924.
The US scientific agency said pent-up steam could drive a 20,000-foot (6,100-meter) ash plume out of the crater.
This would spread debris over a 12 mile (19 km) radius.
8.23am: Hawaii’s Big Islands tourism bookings plummet by 50 per cent
Summer hotel bookings on Big Island have drop by almost half from last year, according to the Island of Hawaii Visitor Bureau.
One visitor who had planned to visit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park before it was shut was exchange student Constantin Plinke.
The 24-year-old said: ”We had a big list of things to do and maybe 80 percent of them were in the national park. It’s sad.”
Hawaii volcano eruption LIVE: USGS issues RED ALERT for ‘imminent’ eruption TODAY
8.22am: Fissure 6 becomes active again, Hawaii officials warn
A dormant fissure has begun spewing lava again, Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency has reported.
Fissure 6, near Leilani Avenue and Pohoiki Road, began spattering out emission at 4.45pm local time on Tuesday (3.45am UK time).
Fissure 17 remains active.