Hawaii’s Kilaue volcano erupts, then earthquake-hit areas


Honolulu, Hawaii – The Kilauea volcano has erupted on Hawaii’s Big Island, the US Geological Survey said, that hit the area about an hour before the earthquake. The eruption began late Sunday within the Helma’uma Crater, located within the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

An earthquake of 4.4 magnitude occurred about an hour after the volcano erupted.

As of 1 a.m., USGS officials told KGMB-TV affiliated with CBS that fountains of lava appeared during the shooting about 165 feet in the sky and watered a rising lava lake within the pit.

Kilauea volcano erupts in Hawaii
Lava originates from the Killoua volcano in Hawaii, in this image taken from a social media video on 21 December 2020.

USGS


In addition to changing the volcano warning level, the US Geological Survey also changed the aviation code color to “red” – a warning for aviators to avoid the area, the station reported.

Photos of the explosion, which appeared on social media accounts verified for the national park around 10pm, were visible with a bright orange glow, with smoke rising into the sky.

One-view-of-the-halemaumau crater-sunday night 122020 source-usgs-summit-webcam.jpg
A view of the Hellemauma crater broke out on Sunday, December 20, 2020, as the Kilauea volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island.

USGS Summit Webcam / KGMB-TV


David Phillips, an aerial volcano observatory spokesman, said the agency was monitoring the situation.

“We will send further notifications to Kilauea and other aerial volcanoes as we observe the changes,” he said.

The USGS said it received reports of more than 500 people who felt the earthquake but did not expect significant damage to buildings or structures.

An advisory was issued by the National Weather Service in Honolulu, warning of ash falling from the volcano. Excessive exposure to ash is an eye and respiratory irritant, it said. The agency later said the explosion was subsiding and a “low-level steam cloud” was active in the area.

Kilaya exploded in 2018, destroying more than 700 homes and spewing enough lava to fill 320,000 Olympic-sized pools. An area over half the size of Manhattan was now buried up to 80 feet (24 m) of hardened lava. The lava flowed over the course of four months.

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