Hawaii volcano sends ash 12000 feet high

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Hawaii Public Radio reports that a total of 20 fissures have appeared since Kilauea's latest upsurge in activity became evident on May 3 in the housing subdivision of Leilani Estates. Ash has been wafting continuously from a vent in the crater reported as far as 18 miles away.

On Monday, the Hawaii County Civil Defense issued a "condition red" alert for air quality around Lanipuna Gardens after a fissure opened up, releasing toxic gases.

Amazingly, though, all the threats of ash and poisonous air pollution weren't enough to keep some locals off the links.

On May 3, Hawaii's Kilauea volcano erupted, causing lava to spew out of cracks in the ground in residential areas and prompting thousands of people to flee. Such activity increases the potential for groundwater to pour into the system, which could generate more big explosions, Anderson says. "This is a serious situation that affects the entire exposed population".

At 1:38 p.m. another dark ash plume rose from the Overlook crater.

Geologists warn Kilauea's summit could have an explosive steam eruption that would hurl huge rocks and ash miles into the sky.

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The Kilauea Volcano has been erupting almost continuously for more than three decades.

CNN's Stephanie Elam said her heart started pounding as she approached one fissure.

Dozens of homes and swathes of farmland in that area have been destroyed.

Residents around PGV's Pohoiki power plant have anxious that earthquakes or a lava flow could cause an uncontrolled blowout that would spew toxic gases into their communities. The intense heat may cause that water to boil and result in eruptions.

But it will be hard to warn residents who may be in the path of such an eruption.

A shift in winds was expected to bring ash and vog inland on Wednesday and make them more concentrated, said John Bravender of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).