HONOLULU (KHON2) — After taking the last few months off, Pele is back. Kilauea is erupting for the third time this year and as with every eruption, it’s drawing a crowd.

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Sunday, Sept. 10 is Kilauea’s third eruption in 2023, and overnight the eruption instantly drew thousands of people to the park.

Kilauea erupts for the third time in one year on Big Island on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2023. (Photo/USGS)
Kilauea erupts for the third time in one year on Big Island on Sunday, Sept. 10, 2023. (Photo/USGS)

“Some tips would be first of all when you come to this area keep in mind this is a very sacred spot. Native Hawaiian Cultural Practitioners are out here so please come with respect and with aloha.”

Jessica Ferracane, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

“Right now the viewing is best along the crater rim trail overlooks on the Kilauea overlook side of the crater,” Ferracane explained. “So on the Kilauea overlook there’s a number of viewpoints here all of them are just wonderful places to see. The fountaining happening right now, the plume coming out and the surface of the lava lake is pretty amazing here.”

“Seeing it in movies and then real life is two completely different things it’s so amazing and beautiful,” said Brayden Benson, visiting from Oregon.

“There were probably several thousand people here last night. What was really nice to see that people were being very respectful,” said Ferracane. “This is the home of Pele. And Pele is the lava that we see behind us and even the gases are breath coming out of the caldera.”

Ferracane reminds all park visitors to stay behind the blocked-off areas, especially children.

“Parents not realizing that just on the other side of that rope line, there is a cliff that drops down 500 feet so we’re really urging visitors to come and be respectful and also please be safe.”

Jessica Ferracane, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

After monitoring the eruption overnight, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory has dropped the red alert to orange at around 8 a.m. They said the eruption was confined to the crater within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and no structures would be threatened.

“So this is taking over most of the east side of the modern caldera, the down-and-drop block of from the 2018 collapses,” explained United States Geological Survey Geophysicist Andria Ellis. “So we see a spectacular fountaining and a lot of several different fountains. I’m actually not sure how many there are there are so many.”

“It’s in the middle of the caldera for the old lava lake and is also coming out very distinctly out of the east wall of the caldera floor, which is a unique feature that we’ve seen for this eruption,” Ellis added. “So it really surprised us to the extent that it crossed eastward going through some old fractures.”

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The January eruption lasted 61 days from January to March, the one in June briefly lasted about 12 days ending on June 19 and awoke once again on September 10.