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The Latest: Earthquake and ash eruption hit Kilauea volcano

HONOLULU – The Latest on the eruption of Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano (all times are local):

5 hours

A magnitude 5.6 earthquake has struck the summit of Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano summit, sending a plume of ash and rock some 10,000 feet in the air.

Hawaii County officials said the Wednesday eruption could cause ash to fall over a number of densely populated areas, including the towns of Volcano and Pahala.

The temblor came just hours after the U. S. Geological Survey scientist Wendy Stovall, said another eruption was imminent.

Increased earthquake activity in the region earlier in the day fit what Stovall called a “pattern” for explosive eruptions at Kilauea’s summit.

No tsunami was generated by the earthquake, the officials said.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park spokeswoman Jessica Ferracane said that there were a number of earthquakes on the top of early in the morning.

A live webcam stationed at the top shows volcanic gas and ash pouring from the crater vent.

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2 hours

Lava poured in two pacific Island neighbourhoods quickly over hundreds of homes, vaporizing a nearby lake in the crater and the fill of an ocean bay, to turn it into a new mile-long (1.6 km) peninsula.

Officials with the U. S. Geological Survey said Wednesday that the entire area of the Country is covered with lava, and the nearby Kapoho subdivision has only a few structures remaining.

County officials say there are 279 homes between the two communities along the coast and most are feared to be destroyed. At least 117 houses are already taken by lava in the Lanipuna Gardens and Leilani Estates areas where the lava has surfaced more than a month ago.

Scientists are still recording violent volcanic activity in the area and that there is no way to know when it will end.

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