Hawaii volcano Kilauea starts erupting after two month pause as officials issue 'red' warning

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The Hawaiian volcano Kilauea, one of the most active of its kind in the world, has erupted after a two-month pause.

For the third time this year, glowing orange lava could be seen bursting out of the volcano’s summit at around 3.15am yesterday.

It is currently at a safe distance from people and buildings in a national park on the Big Island, according to experts at the Hawaii Volcano Observatory.

But the current alert level for those on the island has been increased from ‘warning’ to ‘watch’, according to the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency.

Due to gases released by the eruption, volcanic smog is blowing downwind of Kilauea – causing poor air quality and a ‘red’ aviation warning.  

Glowing orange lava could be seen bursting out of the Kilauea's summit at around 3.15am yesterday

Glowing orange lava could be seen bursting out of the Kilauea’s summit at around 3.15am yesterday

A view of volcanic activity at the Halemaumau Crater, in Hawaii. yesterday

A view of volcanic activity at the Halemaumau Crater, in Hawaii. yesterday

Pictured: A map showing predicted lava flow hazard zones for Hawaii's Big Island

Pictured: A map showing predicted lava flow hazard zones for Hawaii’s Big Island

People living near the park should try to avoid volcanic particles spewed into the air by the eruption, the observatory said.

The volcano’s alert level was raised to warning status and the aviation colour code went to red as scientists evaluate the eruption and associated hazards.

In June, Kilauea erupted for several weeks, displaying fountains of red lava without threatening any communities or structures.

Crowds of people flocked to the Big Island’s Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, which offered safe views of the lava.

Live feeds from the US Geological Survey (USGS) captured the eruption at the Halemaʻumaʻu crater. 

Kilauea last erupted in January, with activity stretching into March, the USGS said. 

An eruption took place on the summit of the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii back in June this year

An eruption took place on the summit of the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii back in June this year

A webcam image provided by the U.S. Geological Survey show the eruption on the summit of the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii, Wednesday June 7, 2023

A webcam image provided by the U.S. Geological Survey show the eruption on the summit of the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii, Wednesday June 7, 2023

The United States Geological Survey said lava is currently confined to the crater so doesn't pose a threat to life. But it's imposed a red warning for aviation, as the ash could disrupt aircraft

The United States Geological Survey said lava is currently confined to the crater so doesn’t pose a threat to life. But it’s imposed a red warning for aviation, as the ash could disrupt aircraft

The volcano last erupted in January (pictured) and activity from that event stretched into March

The volcano last erupted in January (pictured) and activity from that event stretched into March

A 2018 Kilauea eruption destroyed more than 700 homes.

Before the major 2018 eruption, Kilauea had been erupting since 1983, and streams of lava occasionally covered farms and homes. During that time, the lava sometimes reached the ocean, causing dramatic interactions with the water.

The Hawaii tourism board notes that at one time, Kilauea ‘produced 250,000-650,00 cubic yards of lava per day – enough to resurface a 20-mile-long, two-lane road each day’.

Big Island is also home to the largest volcano on Earth, Mauna Loa, which makes up about 51 percent of the island and has an altitude of 13,679 feet. It erupted in November 2022 for the first time in 38 years.

The Big Island is home to about 200,000 people, including comedian Roseanne Barr, who brought property in 2007 and has been living there in recent years.

Oscar-winner actor Matthew McConaughey bought $7.85million home in 2021, but spends most of his time in his home state of Texas.

Island officials recommend having a ‘go’ bag with food and identifying a place to stay once they leave home if an eruption occurs.

There’s been a surge of development on the Big Island in recent decades – its population has more than doubled to 200,000 today from 92,000 in 1980.  




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