Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano, one of the most active in the world, started erupting last Wednesday for the first time in three months, the Associated Press reported.
According to the US Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, a glow was first spotted in webcam images from the summit of Kilauea in the early hours of Wednesday. This glow indicated that an eruption was taking place within the Halemaumau crater within the summit caldera.
Starting on Tuesday night, the observatory detected an increase in earthquake activity as well as changes in the ground deformation patterns at the summit, which indicate the movement of magma beneath the surface.
Observatory geologist Mike Zoeller said that there have been no “signs of activity out on the rift zones,” so they were not expecting this eruption in the crater to “transition into a rift eruption” which would cause “lava flows” that would threaten the communities on the island.
The activity was restricted to a closed area of the national park, primarily the summit caldera, according to the park’s spokeswoman Jessica Ferracane.
Ferracane added that park officials are anticipating a crowd since visitors to the park can safely view the eruption from several overlooks at the park.
She said the view from the Kilauea overlook was “spectacular” on Wednesday morning with a vast lake of “molten red lava” and areas with “robust fountaining.”
Since the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is open to the public 24 hours a day, Ferracane encouraged park visitors to avoid the crowds by coming to the park between 9:00 pm and sunrise.
According to the Associated Press, residents from Pahala, just 20 miles downwind of the volcano’s summit, reported a light dusting of fine ash and “Pele’s hair,” the name given to the glass particles that form when lava rapidly cools.
You can watch a live stream of the Kilauea volcano’s crater HERE.