Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano could soon send boulders and ash shooting out of its summit crater, scientists have warned.

That kind of explosive eruption – last displayed by the volcano nearly a century ago – could occur even as Kilauea continues to splatter and ooze lava out of its eastern flank into a residential area.

Scientists said the risks of an explosive summit eruption will rise in the coming weeks as magma drains down the flank of the volcano.

A geologist walks along a road near the town of Pahoa, Hawaii (PA)A geologist walks along a road near the town of Pahoa, Hawaii (PA)

Hawaii governor David Ige said a geothermal energy plant near the lava outbreak would remove its storage of a flammable gas called pentane by the end of Thursday.

He said it would be “very hazardous” if a volcanic vent were to open under the facility where the fuel is stored.