(BIVN) – Kīlauea is once again erupting at its summit, within Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park.
On Sunday at 3:15 p.m. HST, following weeks of elevated unrest, the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory says new lava began erupting in the summit crater, as well as on the down-dropped block to the east of the summit caldera.
Scientists say the eruption was preceded by a period of strong seismicity and rapid uplift of the summit.
Webcams captured the opening moments of the event, as several fissures began generating lava flows on the surface of the crater floor.
The USGS has elevated the volcano alert level to WARNING, and the aviation color code to RED, as scientists work to evaluate the eruption and associated hazards.
UPDATE: HVO geologists estimate the main lava fountain, on the eastern margin of Halemaʻumaʻu crater, is approximately 50 meters tall. “As of approximately 4:30 p.m., the fissures extend approximately 1350 meters to the northeast, onto the downdropped block that formed during the 2018 summit collapse,” the geologists wrote.
Scientists remind that the opening phases of eruptions are dynamic. As of now, activity is confined to the summit caldera within the National Park, and the Observatory says the hazards will be reassessed as the eruption progresses.
The Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense issued this radio message after the eruption began:
This is a Kilauea Volcano eruption message for Sunday, September 10 at 4 PM.
The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports an eruption at the summit of Kilauea Volcano.
The eruption is confined to within Halemaʻumaʻu Crater at the Kilauea Summit.
There are NO communities threatened at this time.
Hawaiian Volcano Observatory and Civil Defense will continue to monitor the situation.
You will be updated of any changes that may affect your safety.
This is your Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense Agency.