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Kilauea volcano erupts on Hawaii’s Big Island

Kilauea volcano eruption:

The US Geological Survey (USGS) has downgraded the safety alert for Kilauea volcano in Hawaii, following a new eruption. The alert level has been reduced from “WARNING” to “WATCH” as effusion rates have declined and no infrastructure is threatened. The previous warning has been lowered to a watch, as high effusion rates have decreased and no infrastructure is considered to be under threat. Aviation warnings have shifted from red to orange also.

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Kilauea volcano eruption: Key Points

  • Aviation warnings have also been reduced from red to orange. Kilauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes, is located in a closed national park on the Big Island of Hawaii.
  • The ongoing eruption is expected to persist, however, lava flows will continue to be limited to the crater and summit of the volcano.
  • Hawaiians are asking tourists to observe the volcano’s eruption from a respectful distance.

While lava flows are expected to remain confined to the surrounding crater and summit, USGS predicts that the eruption will continue.

Kilauea volcano: About

  • Kīlauea is a volcano on the southeastern shore of Hawaii’s Big Island.
  • It formed about 100,000 years ago and is between 210,000 and 280,000 years old.
  • Along with four other volcanoes, it comprises the island of Hawaii.
  • Kīlauea is the most active of the five and one of the most active in the world, with recent eruptions in 2021 and 2023.
  • Initially considered a satellite of its larger neighbor Mauna Loa, Kīlauea has its own structures, including a summit caldera and two active rift zones extending east and west.
  • Halemaʻumaʻu pit crater has hosted an active lava lake, and between 1983 and 2018, Kīlauea experienced nearly continuous eruptions from vents on its eastern rift zone.
  • In 2018, activity shifted to the lower Puna district, destroying hundreds of dwellings, Hawaii’s largest natural freshwater lake, and several communities.
  • The eruption also prompted the closure of the Kīlauea section of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Kīlauea erupted again in 2020 and 2021, draining a water lake to create a lava lake in the Halemaʻumaʻu crater.

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