HONOLULU (KHON2) — The U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) confirmed that the Halemaʻumaʻu crater in Kīlauea is erupting, as of 3:42 p.m., on Wednesday, Sept. 29.
At around 3:20 p.m., HVO officials detected a glow in the Kīlauea summit webcam images. This glow showed that an eruption had started at the Halemaʻumaʻu crater in Kīlauea’s summit caldera.
The eruption is currently contained to Halemaʻumaʻu, and there is no current threat to the public.
“At this time, we don’t believe anybody or any residents are in danger, but we do want to remind folks the park remains open,” Cyrus Johnasen, Hawaii County spokesperson, told KHON2 Wednesday evening. “It will remain open until the evening. Please proceed with caution. You know, folks with heavy breathing, respiratory issues, stay far away as possible.”
Here is a live stream of the eruption by John Tarson from the EpicLava Facebook page:
According to the National Weather Service (NWS) in Honolulu, volcanic glass — also known as Pele’s hair — was observed near the Halemaʻumaʻu crater by pilots in the area. Pele’s hair will remain in the area around the crater during the eruption.
NWS Honolulu advised residents and visitors to minimize their exposure to volcanic emissions.
HVO reported that Kīlauea’s volcano alert level changed from an orange WATCH to a red WARNING.
Kilauea had a major eruption in 2018 that destroyed homes and forced hundreds of residents to evacuate.
This year, the Hawaii County Council passed two measures to provide about $84 million in funding for recovery projects. The federal grant allows people whose homes were destroyed by the 2018 Kilauea eruption to sell their homes to the county government for up to $230,000.
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University of Hawaii researchers have said that the 2018 volcanic eruption was caused by a long build-up of pressure in the upper parts of the volcano. The build-up over 10 years included small and fast changes.