Imminent eruption warning for Hawaii's Kilauea volcano

A red warning, which indicates a "major volcanic eruption" is imminent, has been sent out to residents on Hawaii's Big Island by the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

Kilauea volcano began erupting earlier this month with a number of fissures opening up.

The warning is at the highest level, which indicates the eruption is imminent.

Residents of Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens have already had to evacuate from their homes.

USGS warns the volcano can become more explosive with little warning.

"At any time, activity may become more explosive, increasing the intensity of ash production and producing ballistic projectiles near the vent," it said in a statement.

Ashfall and VOG (volcanic air pollution) has been spotted as far as 28 kilometers away on the island of Pahala. The ash cloud is currently measuring up to 3650 metres in the air.