Explosion at Hawaii volcano spews ash as lava flows into sea

More Small Blasts from Hawaii Volcano

It's covered more than 5,000 acres and is up to 20 feet deep in some places.

The Civil Defense Agency warns Hawaii residents with breathing problems to limit exposure to the volcano's noxious emissions.

The lava is also flowing into the ocean, where it has created about 200 acres of new land, while also releasing unsafe gas plumes and causing explosions as the molten rock hits the cold water.

Fissure 8 continued to feed a vigorous channelized lava flow to the east of the vent on Saturday morning.

Officials are transitioning to recovery efforts, with help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which is starting to do damage assessments, Magno said.

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The event widely felt in Volcano area, and "based on past events, minor ashfall may occur on the south part of the island", scientists said. He told reporters on Monday that temblors are almost continuous at the summit and that gas emissions remain "very high".

In the meantime, fewer workers are needed to staff a 24-hour operations center and officials are reducing checkpoints, Magno said. Only residents are allowed there.

An eruption at Kilauea summit jolted the area Wednesday with the force of a 5.4 magnitude quake and hurled an ash plume that reached 10,000 feet above sea level. The mayor said he's never seen so many homes destroyed in such a short amount of time. But the unit has been broken since Thursday. Ash expelled from the Kilauea volcano may cause poor visibility and slippery conditions for drivers.

"Venturing too close to an ocean entry on land or the ocean exposes you to flying debris from sudden explosive interaction between lava and water", the observatory said.

The lava is also creating laze - lava haze - a deadly mix of hydrochloric acid fumes, steam and tiny specks of volcanic glass, created when lava hits the ocean.

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