The Kilauea volcano in Hawaii erupted overnight Sunday, prompting authorities to warn residents to take shelter from the ashes blown away by the volcano, considered one of the most active in the world.
Kilauea sits in the southeast corner of the Big Island, where its continued activity, which has lasted for decades, has been punctuated by streaks of eruptions.
The eruption occurred at the volcano’s Halema’uma’u crater, west atop Kilauea, according to the Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency, citing the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. The observatory, which is part of the United States Geological Survey, detected a glow in the crater around 9:30 p.m. local time on Sunday, saying an eruption had started.
The agency said the trade winds would propel the ash to the southwest, putting communities in the path of fallout: the Kau district in Wood Valley, on the southeast side of the island, and several areas designated by the census of hundreds of people, including Pahala, Naalehu and Ocean View.
“Stay indoors to avoid exposure to the ash,” the agency said.
Lava cascaded into the summit water lake, boiling the water and replacing it with a lava lake. All of the lava was contained in Halema’uma’u crater, the agency said.
Preliminary data recorded a magnitude 4.4 earthquake on Sunday evening local time near the southern flank of Kilauea, he said.
The southern flank of Kilauea has been the site of more than 30 earthquakes of magnitude 4.0 or greater over the past two decades. On April 30, 2018, Pu’u ‘O’o crater on Kilauea volcano collapsed, triggering the most destructive eruption in its history. It lasted through spring and summer, transforming the landscape and destroying hundreds of homes.
The Kilauea volcano has erupted since 1983. The focal points at the start of the 2018 eruption sequence were Halema’uma’u crater and a flank area known as the Lower East Rift Zone, a point where the surface of the volcano gradually separates. .