HONOLULU (KHON2) — The USGS said a glow was seen in the Kilauea summit Wednesday morning at 4:47 a.m. indicating that the volcano is once again erupting.
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The activity is within Halema’uma’u crater, according to Hawaii Volcanoes Observatory, where fissures were observed on the base of the crater floor on their webcam.
Ken Hon, Scientist-in-Charge at Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, said that this eruption could be one of the larger eruptions since the lava has already completely covered the floor of Halema’uma’u.
“We don’t expect it to have any impact outside of Halema’uma’u crater at all,” said Hon.
The HVO raised the alert level from yellow to orange around 3:40 this morning after Kilauea started inflating last night and a flurry of earthquakes were felt overnight.
“We’ve been kind of waiting and expecting this for a couple weeks right now,” Hon said of observing the inflation of Kilauea, the largest it’s been in a few years.
The eruption will be visible from viewpoints in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
Hon expects, with the start of most eruptions, that volcanic gases will spread among the local area. He said Pahala, Na’alehu and Ocean View could get high levels of vog over the next couple days before the levels return to normal.
At this point, Hon could not say how long the eruption will last but did say if it behaves as is typical with previous eruptions, it could last several months.
Kilauea last erupted in January and went silent in March. This came after a historic double eruption at both Kilauea and Mauna Loa in December. Both volcanoes paused activity on Dec. 9 and 10, respectively.