La Palma volcano spews lava as it continues to erupt
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The Kilauea volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island has erupted after hours of increased activity, according to officials at the US Geological Survey (USGS). Lava erupted from the volcano at approximately 3.20pm Hawaiian time on Wednesday, shooting lava into the air in an intense period of activity at around 7pm.
The eruption is taking place within the Halemaʻumaʻu crater in Kīlauea’s summit caldera, which is part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.
The USGS has raised the volcano’s alert level to the highest level.
As it currently stands, there is no expected immediate threat to local communities.
An advisory from the USGS reads: “The US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) is elevating Kīlauea’s volcano alert level from WATCH to WARNING and its aviation color code from ORANGE to RED as this new eruption and associated hazards are evaluated.
“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.”
Webcam footage of the crater has shown dramatic lava fountains covering the floor of the crater and billowing clouds of volcanic gas rising above.
Ken Hon, a USGS scientist, said: “All signs indicate that it will stay within the crater.
“We’re not seeing any indications that lava is moving into the lower part of the east rift zone where people live. Currently all the activity is within the park.”
Kilauea is a remarkably active volcano, and has been erupting since 1983.
Streams of lava occasionally covered rural farms and homes in dramatic eruptions, in which the lava sometimes reached the ocean, causing intense interactions with the water.
A deadly eruption took place in May 2018, destroying more than 700 homes and displacing thousands of residents.
Before that eruption, the volcano had been slowly erupting for decades, but mostly not in densely populated residential areas.
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