Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano could see explosive eruptions: U.S. agency

Kilauea volcano's summit lava lake shows a significant drop of roughly 220 metres below the crater rim in this wide angle camera view showing the entire north portion of the Overlook crater in Hawaii, U.S. May 6, 2018. Picture taken on May 6, 2018. USGS/Handout via REUTERS

(Reuters) – There is a growing chance of explosive eruptions of Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano in coming weeks that could shoot rocks for miles and cause ashfall for dozens of miles, the U.S. Geological Survey said on Wednesday.

Kilauea, Hawaii’s most active volcano, erupted on Thursday and lava flows from fissures have destroyed at least 36 structures and caused the evacuation of about 2,000 residents.

Explosive eruptions could occur if the lava lake in Kilauea’s crater continues to fall to the level of groundwater, causing an influx of water to create steam-driven explosions, the USGS said in a statement.

(Reporting By Andrew Hay; Editing by Bill Trott)