Rockfalls and explosions at the summit of Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano shot ash into the air on Tuesday as residents for the first time in the 12-day eruption got text messages from county officials warning them the ash could cause eye and breathing irritation.
A plume of gray ash and smoke rose several thousand feet above Kilauea’s summit and drifted southwest to the Ka’u district and further downwind, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said.
“Excessive exposure can cause eye/breathing irritation. Motorists advised to drive with caution,” said the County of Hawaii Civil Defense text message.
The ash threatened Ka’u district, which is about 30 miles southwest of Kilauea. To the east of the summit, toxic gas emanating from steaming gashes around 25 miles (40 km) towards the coast added to the danger facing residents, whose escape routes are threatened…