HONOLULU (KHON2) — It is now day two of Kilauea’s latest eruption and as thousands of spectators make plans to visit, officials are letting residents and visitors know what to watch out for.
Get Hawaii’s latest morning news delivered to your inbox, sign up for News 2 You
Officials are expecting tens of thousands of visitors per day and they’re getting an early start, with parking filling up by 7 a.m. Some visitors were there to see the pre-dawn orange glow.
Steam vents are visible as well as lava during the day with low fountaining.
There is less lava than there was Wednesday and some of it has started to cool, for this reason, USGS said they are lowering the alert level from Warning to Watch effective Thursday morning.
All activity remains in Halema’ma’u crater with multiple fountains along the crater floor and a fissure on the southwest wall. The lava lake has covered the entire crater floor, an area of about 371 acres, which is around 1.5 miles across.
USGS said the lava is estimated to have initially added 20 feet in depth to the crater floor. That depth has decreased by about 6 feet, likely due to gas loss.
Fountain heights reached up to 30 feet Wednesday and remain around that height, according to USGS.
Earthquake activity has also died down since the eruption started.
There is no unusual activity on the East Rift Zone or Southwest Rift Zone and “low rates of deflationary ground deformation and seismicity continue along the East Rift Zone,” USGS stated in an update.
There are currently no threats to residents other than those with respiratory issues due to the volcanic gas emissions. Those downwind from the crater can expect vog, which can present airborne health hazards, damage crops and affect livestock.
Check out more news from around Hawaii
Residents are reporting light dustings of ash in the Pahala area and some have reported Pele’s hair. Residents are advised to minimize exposure to Pele’s hair as it can cause skin and eye irritation.
Officials do not know how long this eruption, which started Wednesday morning at 4:44, will last.