HONOLULU (KHON2) — Kilauea is once again active and putting on a show since officials announced its eruption just before dawn on Wednesday, June 7.
KHON2 reporter Kristy Tamashiro spoke to officials and residents on the action that Pele has brought to the Hawaii island.
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This is the home of Pelehonuamea, and she is home.”Jessica Ferracane, HVNP public affairs specialist
Officials said tens of thousands of visitors are expected each day to catch a glimpse from the many lookouts at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
Some visitors were excited to be in Hawaii at the right time.
“It’s been incredible. We’re glad we got to see it in person. We weren’t expecting we would be able to do so here we are,” said John Torchia, an Indiana resident.
It’s especially important for the residents and many to take the drive to see the fountains of lava.
“I just love being here and seeing this and being able to spend time directly with tutu Pele in nature; and us as Hawaiians as kanaka Maoli, this is critical to use. This is what created the islands, and we have to respect that and honor that.”Kamiki Rathburn, Kalapana resident
As residents and visitors rolled in, employees prepared for an all-hands-on deck situation.
“We actually have what we call a new eruption crew, and we set up members of our eruption crew starting very early this morning,” said Ferracane. “You can see them helping direct traffic when you come in responding to calls. We already had some people getting a little lost because they’re not quite sure where they’re going.”
As this may come to a surprise for visitors, The Hawaii Volcano Observatory has been monitoring heightened seismic activity for the past two and a half weeks.
Officials said a swarm of earthquakes hit around 3:30 a.m. leading to the orange glow an hour later.
Some earthquakes could be felt as David Philips, HVO deputy scientist-in-charge, said, “I live in Volcano across the way; it was rattling. The house was rattling and shaking from earthquakes all night.”
Much of this activity happened in the early morning, and officials stress that there is NO threat to the community at this time with all seismic activity confined within crater Halemaumau.
According to the Hawaii Volcano Observatory, the lava continues to fill Halemaumau crater; and at times, big fountains and flows are visible.
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Philips said they’re seeing the basic pattern of intense seismic activity then it stabilizes which could end Thursday, June 8. However, if this eruption follows patterns from recent eruption, it could stick around for weeks and possibly months.