Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano eruption in ‘full swing’: USGS
2018 eruption of Kilauea caused widespread damage, but officials say latest eruption poses no immediate threat to homes.
A webcam image shows the eruption that has begun in the Halemaumau crater at the summit of Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano [AP Photo]
30 Sep 2021
Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano has erupted in “full swing”, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) said, with local media reporting that the eruption posed no immediate danger to residents.
Webcam footage of the Halemaumau crater at the volcano’s summit showed lava fountains covering the floor of the crater and billowing clouds of volcanic gas rising into the air on Wednesday.
Kilauea, located on Hawaii’s Big Island, is one of the world’s most active volcanoes. It had a major eruption in 2018 that destroyed more than 700 homes and displaced thousands of residents. Before that eruption, the volcano had been slowly erupting for decades, but mostly not in densely populated residential areas.
Officials said the most recent eruption does not pose a threat to homes and is entirely contained within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
“What was once a cooling lava lake is now a new fissure eruption,” US Geological Survey Volcanoes said in a tweet.
Meanwhile, Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) elevated Kilauea’s volcano alert level from “Watch” to “Warning”.
Ken Hon, the scientist in charge of the observatory, told The Associated Press: “All signs indicate that it will stay within the crater.”
“We’re not seeing any indications that lava is moving into the lower part of the east rift zone where people live. Currently, all the activity is within the park,” he said.
The same area of the volcano that began erupting on Wednesday also erupted in December and lasted until May.
Hon said these types of eruptions could be happening for years as the volcano fills up.
“We do know that one thing that happens is that the magma keeps coming into Kilauea at a pretty constant rate and so it’s either filling the inside of the volcano and repressurise it or it’s coming out to the surface,” he said.
The Hawaiian eruption comes as the Cumbre Vieja volcano on the Spanish island of La Palma has been erupting for 11 days.
On Wednesday the European Union’s Copernicus service estimated that the lava had destroyed 656 homes as it spread across 267 hectares (660 acres).