Weeks after Hawaii Mount Loa erupted for the first time in decades, neighboring Kilauea volcano is showing activity again after a brief hiatus, officials said.
Kilauea – which stopped erupting last month for the first time since September 2021 amid Mauna Loa’s own lava eruption and subsequent slowdown — increased seismic activity below its summit and recorded ground deformation Thursday morning, officials said.
“Kilauea Volcano Erupts,” Hawaiian Volcanic Observatory and US Geological Survey said Thursday. A glow was detected in nearby webcam images “indicating that eruption has resumed at Halemaumau crater in Kilauea’s summit caldera” in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, the agencies said.
Authorities have raised the alert level for the Kilauea volcano to “alert” status and updated the aviation color code from orange to red, the agencies said.
Alert status and red color code are the highest levels of alert, indicating a dangerous eruption with significant volcanic ash emissions.
The eruption is occurring in a closed portion of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
“Therefore, high levels of volcanic gas are the primary hazard of concern, as this hazard can have far-reaching downwind effects,” according to status report from the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. It also warned residents to avoid exposure to volcanic particles that could be ejected some distance from the eruption.
The National Park Service publishes air quality signal on its website, warning that unhealthy levels of volcanic pollutants could occur. It includes charts with regular air quality readings, particularly suitable for people with pre-existing respiratory conditions.
Visitors to the national park may face “minor danger,” the status report said.
“Visitors to Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park should be aware that under southerly (non-trade) wind conditions there is the potential for dusty to gritty ash composed of volcanic glass and rock fragments.”
The eruption is currently confined to the crater and poses “no threat to communities”. Hawaii Emergency Management Agency said on social media.
Kilauea’s 2018 eruption was one of the most destructive in Hawaii’s recent history, forcing evacuations of surrounding neighborhoods and destroying hundreds of homes.
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