One of the most active volcanoes in the world has begun erupting after a three-month pause.
A glow was detected in webcam images from Kilauea’s summit early on Wednesday morning, indicating that an eruption was occurring within the Halemaumau crater, the US Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said.
The images from the peak on Hawaii‘s Big Island show fissures at the base of the crater generating lava flows on the crater floor’s surface, the observatory said.
Before issuing the eruption notice, the observatory said increased earthquake activity and changes in the patterns of ground deformation at the summit started on Tuesday night.
“We’re not seeing any signs of activity out on the rift zones right now,” said Mike Zoeller, a geologist with the observatory.
“There’s no reason to expect this to transition into a rift eruption that would threaten any communities here on the island with lava flows or anything like that.”
All activity was within a closed area of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
“The lava this morning is all confined within… the summit caldera. So, plenty of room for it still to produce more without threatening any homes or infrastructure,” said park spokesperson Jessica Ferracane.
“So that’s the way we like our eruptions here.”
She said park officials are bracing for crowds to arrive because visitors can see the eruption from many vantage points.