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Kilauea, one of Hawaii's active volcanoes, erupts

Lava from a fissure slowly advances, 5th May 2018One of Hawaii's active volcanoes—which helped create the islands in the first place—has erupted. Since early May, it has been oozing lava from a number of fissures (cracks in the ground), shooting out plumes of ash and sulphur dioxide gas from its summit, and spitting chunks of molten rock. Rivers of molten rock are flowing into the nearby ocean, burning dozens of homes and forcing people to flee. Scientists cannot say if lava flows will keep advancing or stop. More fissures may open up at any time.

Lava flows seen from the air

Kilauea volcano is the most active volcano on Hawaii's Big Island, although the area affected by lava and ash is still quite small. The volcano has been erupting continuously since 1983, mainly from the Pu'u 'O'o crater. It is an good example of a Hawaiian eruption, a type of volcanic eruption in which highly liquid lava steadily spews out of the ground.

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