Kilauea volcano shoots plume of ash

March 26, 2008

Scientists in Hawaii say they are keeping a close watch on a plume of ash from Kilauea Volcano's Halemaumau Crater.

The U.S. Geological Survey told KITV the ash plume, which is thousands of feet high, indicates an unknown geophysical change deep inside the volcano. Scientists also said small amounts of lava erupted from the crater Monday.

The National Park Service has closed Crater Rim Drive through the south caldera area until further notice, and people with asthma and other breathing problems were told to avoid downwind areas. USGS said the possibility of future small explosions from Halemaumau Crater cannot be ruled out.

While the amount of lava erupted from the vent was small, it was the first to have erupted from anywhere in Halemaumau since 1982.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said it continues to monitor the activity.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

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