(BIVN) – At 4:12 p.m. HST on Sunday, another collapse explosion event occurred at Kīlauea’s summit. The ash-poor plume did not rise much above ground surface, scientists with the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said, and the energy released by the event was equivalent to Magnitude 5.3 earthquake.
Its a continuing pattern at the summit, where dramatic changes are taking place. A nearly identical event occurred yesterday at 4:34 p.m. (June 23), when a collapse explosion event produced another ash-poor plume. Again, the energy released by the event was equivalent to M5.3 earthquake.
During the intense shaking, USGS said rockfalls cascaded down the northern margin of the caldera wall just below Uwēkahuna Bluff sending rock dust into the air. The moment was captured in the photo seen above.
After Saturday’s event, which followed 17 hours of elevated seismicity, earthquake rates dropped abruptly from a high of 25-30 temblors per hour (many in the magnitude 2-3 range) prior to the collapse explosion down to 10 or less earthquakes per hour afterwards, USGS said. “Within 4 hours seismicity began to creep up again averaging about 25 earthquakes per hour by daybreak (June 24),” scientists reported. “Inward slumping of the rim and walls of Halemaʻumaʻu continues in response to ongoing subsidence at the summit.”