HONOLULU (KHON2) — Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists are tracking elevated activity at Kilauea volcano, they said there has been a sudden increase of earthquakes below the summit, which is similar to the activity they noticed before Kilauea’s eruption last month.
HVO Scientist in Charge Ken Hon said the number of earthquakes below Kilauea increased in the last 24 hours, and the activity is not slowing down.
Hon said, “Overnight it really accelerated, to the point where we went from having about 10 earthquakes out in that region to having last night we had 140 and it’s going up right now.”
Hon said they also noticed an increase in the inflationary tilt in the area just south of the summit caldera, but they are not seeing unusual activity along Kilauea’s east or southwest rift zone. He said the activity just south of the summit caldera is where the activity increased before last month’s eruption that lasted six days.
The lava fountains reached between 32 and 50 feet at the height of that eruption, giving a spectacular show in the Halemaumau crater. Hon said the eruption released some pressure, but there is still lots of it building up.
Hon said, “Over a number of years actually, it’s been keeping going up and up and up even though there’s eruptions and there’s a drop but then it climbs up again, so Kilauea the summit area continues to pressurize.”
Scientists said these are signs the magma is moving south of the caldera, another eruption soon is not a sure best just yet, but all eyes will remain on Kilauea.
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HVO will continue to release daily updates as long as the elevated activity continues.