(BIVN) – The eruption of Kilauea volcano that started early Wednesday morning continues, and the alert level remains at Warning. The lava is all confined to the summit crater, and no unusual activity has been noted along the volcano’s rift zones.
In a June 7th update, the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reported multiple minor fountains were active in the central eastern portion of the crater floor – and there was even one vent open on the west wall of the caldera – all within the closed area of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park.
A live web cam remains trained on the ongoing activity. Also, scientists have been sharing some of the images they have captured, such as video, taken from the south rim of the crater, showing a wind vortex above the eruption site, which formed due to the extreme heat.
At 9 a.m. this morning, scientists reported the largest lava fountain was consistently about 15 meters, or 50 feet high; although, during the early phase of the eruption, fountain bursts reached at least 60 meters, or 200 feet high.
Lava flows have covered much of the crater floor, which scientists say is approximately 370 acres, or 150 hectares, in size. Within less than four hours into the eruption, about 10 meters – or 33 feet – of new lava depth had been added to the crater floor.
Shortly after the start of the eruption, the ongoing inflation measured at the summit switched to deflation, and although summit earthquake activity greatly diminished, there has been a resumption of eruptive tremor, as is measured during active lava movement.
The National Park Service also expects the eruption will draw thousands of spectators to the summit. Officials ask that visitors stay on marked trails and overlooks, and not enter closed areas. They are urged to avoid cliff edges and earth cracks, and that at 4,000 feet, the summit can be chilly, so everyone should bring a rain jacket, wear long pants and closed-toe shoes.
To avoid the crowds, visit after 9 p.m, and before 5 a.m. The park continues to be open 24 hours a day.