Maui News

BREAKING: Kīlauea is Now Erupting

September 29, 2021, 3:43 PM HST
* Updated September 29, 4:05 PM
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Halemaʻumaʻu crater and lava lake [S1cam] From the south rim of the summit collapse features. PC: USGS.

Kīlauea volcano is erupting. At approximately 3:20 p.m. HST on Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021, the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory detected glow in  Kīlauea summit webcam images indicating that an eruption has commenced within Halemaʻumaʻu crater in Kīlauea’s summit caldera, within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.

Webcam imagery shows fissures at the base of Halemaʻumaʻu crater generating lava flows on the surface of the lava lake that was active until May 2021.  

The US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory is elevating Kīlauea’s volcano alert level to from WATCH to WARNING and its aviation color code from ORANGE to RED as this new eruption and associated hazards are evaluated.   The activity is confined to Halemaʻumaʻu and the hazards will be reassessed as the eruption progresses. 

The opening phases of eruptions are dynamic and uncertain. HVO continues to monitor the volcano closely and will report any significant changes in future notices. 
  
HVO is in constant communication with Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park and the County of Hawai‘i Civil Defense Agency as this situation evolves. The eruption is currently taking place entirely within the closed area of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.  

Halemaʻumaʻu crater and lava lake from the down-dropped block [B1cam] From the east rim and the down-dropped block. PC: USGS.
Halemaʻumaʻu, lava lake, and down-dropped block [KWcam] From the west rim of the summit collapse features. PC: USGS.

Previous Post (3:36 p.m. Sept. 29, 2021)

Kīlauea volcano is not erupting, however the alert level and aviation color code has been raised from Advisory/Yellow to Watch/Orange. This is due to increased earthquake activity and changes in the patterns of ground deformation at Kīlauea’s summit.

These changes began occurring at approximately noon on Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021, indicating movement of magma in the subsurface, according to the US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

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“At this time, it is not possible to say with certainty if this activity will lead to an eruption — the activity may remain below ground, as occurred in August 2021 and early December 2020 (two weeks prior to the December 2020 – May 2021 summit eruption), when magma intruded beneath the caldera but did not erupt. However, an eruption in Kīlauea’s summit region, within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park and away from infrastructure, is one potential outcome,” according to an HVO update.

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HVO will continue to monitor this activity closely and adjust the alert level accordingly.  The activity is confined entirely within the park. 

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