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After several earthquakes this week, Hawaii’s most active volcano, Kilauea, erupted on Thursday afternoon, spewing ash and molten rock into residential areas of the big island.

A mandatory evacuation was ordered for residents on the island’s eastern side — mainly in the subdivision of Leilani Estates, which is about 25 miles from the volcano and home to about 1,700 people. Video shows the magma burning through trees and debris as it gushes through the area.


Airlines flying into Hawaii have for the most part not issued any travel waivers and have largely kept normal operations. As of time of publication, United Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines and American Airlines have not offered any reservation change fee waivers due to the eruption.

The one carrier that is amending operations is Hawaiian Airlines, which waived the change fee for a one-time reservation change for customers with flights in to and out of Hilo Airport (ITO) or Kona Airport (KOA) on May 3 and May 4.

The US Geological Survey issued a level-orange aviation warning after the eruption — its second-highest warning level. The warnings are focused on how the volcano’s ash emission affects visibility while flying in the area. A level orange alert means the eruption had “no or minor volcanic-ash emissions.”

USGS said Kilauea stopped erupting at about 6:30pm local time on Thursday. Although it notes that new “lava outbreaks” and “eruption fissures” may still occur.

Featured image by U.S. Geological Survey.

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