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Volcano Ash Plume Rises to 12,000 Feet

HONOLULU (AP) — The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory says an ash plume from within Kilauea volcano’s summit crater has risen as high as 12,000 feet above sea level.

People watch at a golf course as an ash plume rises in the distance from the Kilauea volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island on May 15, 2018 in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Ash has been wafting continuously from a vent in the crater, Halemaumau, and drifting southwest, causing ashfall and volcanic air pollution to be reported as far as 18 miles away.

Authorities have issued an ashfall advisory for the island’s southernmost district until 6 p.m.

Ormat Technologies, which owns a geothermal energy plant in the area, says there is a low risk of lava impacting the facility.

The plant, Puna Geothermal Venture, was shut down after Kilauea first erupted on May 3, and provides roughly one-quarter of daily energy demand on the Big Island.