Pilots have been warned to avoid a potentially damaging ash cloud as an explosive eruption of Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano sent ash 30,000ft in to the sky.

The US Geological Survey had warned that an explosive eruption at Kilauea was becoming more likely as the volcano’s lava lake was lowering.

This triggered a red aviation code warning ahead of the latest eruption which occurred at 4.15am local time yesterday (Thursday), the BBC reported.

Lava has wrecked dozens of homes and forced hundreds of people to be evacuated since Kilauea began erupting almost two weeks ago.

Further activity is reported to be likely with volcano’s observatory and the national park previously evacuated.

“We may have additional larger, powerful events,” USGS geologist Michelle Coombs said after Thursday’s eruption.

Hawaii’s emergency management agency advised people in the area affected by ash to stay in their homes if possible.

The ash plume from the volcano could be seen from the International Space Station even before Thursday morning’s explosive eruption.

Kilauea is one of five active volcanoes on the island of Hawaii.