Hawaii's Kilauea volcano could have a major devastating eruption at 'any time', the US Geographical Survey has said.
The volcano has been erupting for 10 days, and more than 2000 residents have already been evacuated.
'At any time, activity may become more explosive, increasing the intensity of ash production and producing ballistic projectiles near the vent,' the USGS said on Tuesday afternoon.
The USGS also raised the volcano aviation alert level at Hawaii’s Kilauea to red - the highest level - which indicates a 'major volcanic eruption is imminent, underway, or suspected with hazardous activity both on the ground and in the air.'
A recent lowering of the lava lake at the volcano's Halemaumau crater 'has raised the potential for explosive eruptions' at the volcano, the organisation said.
Plumes of smoke are reaching up to 12,000 feet into the sky and ash is raining on to nearby towns. On Wednesday, The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory recorded a lava temperature of 217 degrees Fahrenheit.
Some of the vents in the volcano are now reportedly releasing such high levels of sulfur dioxide that it's posing a grave danger to anyone nearby.
People watch at a golf course as an ash plume rises in the distance from the Kilauea volcano on Hawaii's Big Island as the USGS announces a major, explosive eruption is imminent
Smoke plumes from the mountain have reached up to 12,000 feet, the USGS announced on Tuesday, and ash is raining into nearby towns
Some of the vents in the volcano are now reportedly releasing such high levels of sulfur dioxide that it's posing a grave danger to anyone nearby
A recent lowering of the lava lake at the volcano's Halemaumau crater 'has raised the potential for explosive eruptions' at the volcano
Three new fissures (one of which is pictured above) have opened up on Hawaii's Big Island since Monday, raising the possibility that officials might have to order further mass evacuations
Residents of Hawaii's Big Island are getting prepared to evacuate should Kilauea boil over as predicted
Despite the imminent danger, with explosions expected at any time, some people were determined to go on as usual