1 / 39

Kilauea volcano erupts on Hawaii’s Big Island

A slow camera shutter speed catches the lights of cars passing spectators sitting in a car off the side of Hwy 137 to watch the volcanic activity from the Malama Ki and Lelani Estates neighborhoods, Thursday, May 17, 2018, near Pahoa, HI. (Photo: Marco Garcia/AP)

Kilauea volcano erupts on Hawaii's Big Island

Authorities handed out around 2,000 masks for protection as people living near Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano braced for pulverized rock, glass and crystal to rain down after an explosive eruption at the peak’s summit.

Most residents found only thin coatings of ash, if they saw any at all, as winds blew much of the 30,000-foot (9,100-meter) plume away from people.

The explosion at Kilauea’s summit came shortly after 4 a.m. Thursday following two weeks of volcanic activity that sent lava flows into neighborhoods and destroyed at least 26 homes. Scientists said the eruption was the most powerful in recent days, though it probably lasted only a few minutes. (AP)

See more news-related photo galleries and follow us on Yahoo News Photo Twitter and Tumblr.