HONOLULU (KHON2) — Kilauea is erupting again, not even a month after its last eruption hit a pause. Officials said magma never stopped moving in the underground chambers, so another eruption was bound to happen, but scientists did not expect it this soon.
The lava was fountaining and filling Kilauea’s Halema’uma’u crater floor.
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EpicLava’s owner John Tarson zoomed over to the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and captured the lava’s immense glow as the day turned into night.
“Almost like a giant artesian well of lava,” Tarson said. “When an eruption starts the energy is always magic in the air, everybody feels it. I think it personifies the word ‘aloha.'”
The Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Spokesperson Jessica Ferracane said there was increased seismic activity in the days leading up to the eruption and she felt a shake about an hour before the lava was visible.
Ferracane said, “We all felt the 3.6 earthquake a little while ago.”
The United States Geological Survey called the eruption at 4:34 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 5.
The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Scientist in Charge Ken Hon said magma kept moving underground, it was a matter of time for another eruption began.
“The summit was still inflating, so it was pressurizing again,” Hon said. “So not surprised. It’s a little surprising this quickly. But one of our seismologists pretty much called that after the other one ended, he said, ‘I will be seeing it in a few more weeks.'”
HVO will continue to monitor this activity closely and adjust the alert level accordingly.
Hon said the eruption is isolated to Kilauea, the USGS is not tracking any activity at Mauna Loa.
“Mauna Loa needs a longer period for repose and recharge,” Hon explained. “So and we’re not seeing any signs of unusual activity on Mauna Loa right now.”
The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency said the eruption is confined to the crater and it’s not posing any hazards to surrounding communities.
Although dozens experienced the initial show of the eruption.
Tarson said, “Probably 50 to 75 people at the summit right now. I think we’re the lucky ones who just got here early but I would expect it — for this place to start filling up pretty fast.”
The Hawaii Volcanoes National Park will remain open to the public, but officials remind them that it is an erupting volcano, and to pay attention to any notices.
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“This is an eruption that seems like it is going to be in the summit, but things can change at any time,” Ferracane said. “So, monitor the park website, monitor the USGS HVO updates and just stay in tune with what’s going on.”