Hours after officials issued an eruption watch, Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano erupted Wednesday morning, prompting state officials to urge residents to stay indoors.
The United States Geological Survey (USGS) “detected a glow” emanating from the webcam overseeing the Kilauea summit just before 4:44 a.m. local time, according to a notice posted by the USGS. That glow indicated to officials that an eruption had begun within Halemaʻumaʻu crater in Kīlauea’s summit caldera, located within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, the notice continued.
Images from the webcam show lava flows emanating from fissures on the surface of the crater floor. While officials have said there is not currently any danger the lava flows will threaten populated areas, residents on the Big Island have been advised to stay indoors due to air quality concerns.
Officials were bracing themselves for an imminent eruption Tuesday after earthquake activity in the area increased and changes in the patterns of ground deformation at the summit were noted, the Associated Press (AP) reported.
One of the world’s most active volcanoes, Kilauea has been erupting off and on for many years. In 2018, a massive eruption of Kilauea, which had at that time been erupting since 1983, destroyed more than 700 homes, the outlet reported. Kilauea began erupting again in September 2021 until December 2021 when Mauna Loa, Hawaii’s biggest volcano, also erupted, the outlet reported. (RELATED: Hawaii’s Largest Volcano Starts Erupting After 38 Years Of Peace)
Kilauea’s latest eruption follows a short pause in activity for the volcano after it erupted from January to March 2023, according to AP.