"Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports that an Explosive Eruption at Kilauea's Summit has occurred. The resulting ash plume will cover the surrounding area," the alert said. "You should shelter in place if you are in the path of the ash plume."
The explosion occurred at about 6 a.m. local time, following two weeks of volcanic activity and the opening of more than a dozen fissures.
Kilauea is one of the world's most active volcanoes. An eruption of 1924 killed one person while sending rocks, ash and dust into the air for 17 days; the volcano has been erupting continuously since 1983.