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The Latest: Earthquake and ash eruption hit Kilauea volcano

June 7, 2018
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This satellite image provided by Digital Globe captured June 5, 2018, shows Kilauea summit crater in Hawaii. Lava from the Kilauea volcano destroyed hundreds of homes in a mostly rural area on the Big Island of Hawaii overnight. It's the largest number of destroyed homes since the eruption began last month. A spokeswoman for Hawaii County says an exact count of destroyed homes has yet to be determined. (Satellite Image ©2018 DigitalGlobe, a Maxar company via AP)

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

5 p.m.

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

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

The temblor came just hours after 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, officials said.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park spokeswoman Jessica Ferracane said there were several earthquakes at the summit early this morning.

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

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2 p.m.

Lava poured into two oceanfront Big Island neighborhoods quickly, covering hundreds of homes, vaporizing a nearby crater lake and filling an ocean bay, turning it into a new mile-long (1.6 kilometer) peninsula.

Officials with the U.S. Geological Survey said Wednesday that the entire neighborhood of Vacationland has been covered by lava, and the nearby Kapoho subdivision has only a few structures remaining.

County officials say there are 279 homes between the two coastal communities, and most are feared to be destroyed. At least 117 homes have already been taken by lava in the Lanipuna Gardens and Leilani Estates neighborhoods where lava surfaced more than a month ago.

Scientists are still recording vigorous volcanic activity in the area and say there’s no way to know when it will end.

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