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Hawaii's Kilauea volcano is shooting out 'ballistic blocks' three times larger than bowling balls

Business Insider Australia logo Business Insider Australia 17/05/2018 Tara Francis Chan

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Video provided by AP

Earthquakes up to 4.4 magnitude have been measured after Kilauea's caldera, one if its large craters, dropped 90cm causing nearby faults to move.

According to the US Geological Survey (USGS), residents and employees at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory have reported "frequent ground shaking and damage to roads and buildings". Cracks have also emerged on Highway 11, though they were still passable as of this writing.

The earthquakes are expected to continue and become more frequent, but because of their shallow depth will be more damaging to the nearby region.

a group of clouds in the sky © Provided by Business Insider Inc Earlier in the day, ballistic blocks up to 60cm were found in a parking lot hundreds of metres from Kilauea's Halemaumau crater.

"These reflect the most energetic explosions yet observed and could reflect the onset of steam-driven explosive activity," USGS said.

"Additional such explosions are expected and could be more powerful."

Lava outbreaks are also still possible.

On Tuesday, the volcano's warning system was raised to it its highest level because of the risk to aviation from increased emissions and heights of ash clouds.

Pictures: Hawaii's volcano explodes

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