(BIVN) – The Sunday evening eruption of Kīlauea – the first eruptive activity at the volcano in over two years – has already erased the growing summit water lake and is replacing it with a new lava lake at the base of the crater.
The eruption started suddenly at approximately 9:30 p.m. HST during a brief earthquake swarm at the summit. Scientists say multiple fissures opened on the walls of Halemaʻumaʻu crater. The lava cascaded into the summit water lake, boiling off the water and forming a new lava lake at the base of the crater.
The activity is contained within Halemaʻumaʻu crater in Kīlauea caldera, scientists say. One of the fountains within the crater was 165 feet tall.
The National Weather Service posted an update at 12:21 a.m. Monday morning, saying that “all available data indicate that the eruption that occurred at Halemaʻumaʻu late Sunday night is easing, with just a low-level steam cloud lingering.” The forecasters said that the Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense reported that “no ashfall was observed near and downwind of the crater, including on Highway 11, and that the eruption may have been primarily comprised of steam.”