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Minor explosion at Hawaii volcano spews more ash into the air

Minor explosion at Hawaii volcano spews more ash into the air

Officials on Hawaii's Big Island are letting some people back into their homes and scaling down emergency operations as lava flows into the ocean on a path that isn't threatening new areas.

A small explosion at the summit of Hawaii's erupting Kilauea Volcano on Sunday sent ash spewing into the air, creating a driving hazard for roads on parts of the Big Island, the US Geological Survey said. He told reporters on Monday that temblors are almost continuous at the summit and that gas emissions remain "very high".

An eruption at Kilauea summit jolted the area Wednesday with the force of a 5.4 magnitude quake and hurled an ash plume that reached 10,000 feet above sea level.

Also Saturday, there was an explosive eruption of rock and ash at Kilauea's summit at 4:50 a.m. that produced a plume expected to possibly blow to the southwest toward Wood Valley, Pahala and Ocean View.

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Fissure 8 continues to produce a large channelized flow that is entering the ocean at Kapoho Bay and producing a large laze plume, civil defense reported Sunday morning. Scientists said a new lava delta has grown to 200 acres, while lava from Fissure 8 bursts 130 to 180 feet up in the air. Gas emissions from the fissure eruption and at the ocean entry continue to be very high. Residents have been warned to avoid the area.

Many people whose homes have been destroyed don't have insurance, and FEMA officials are working with local authorities to get disaster assistance to those who qualify.

"I swear to you we're going to do this", he said, according to county spokeswoman Janet Snyder.

The current lava eruption began May 3 in the Leilani Estates neighborhood, about 35 miles away from the island's largest city of Hilo.

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