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Hawaii’s Big Island put on high alert after Kilauea volcano erupts for the second time this year


Hawaii’s Big Island is put on red alert after the Kilauea volcano erupts for the second time this year, three years after huge blast injured 24 people and destroyed hundreds of homes

  • The Kilauea volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island began erupting for the second time this year on Wednesday afternoon
  • The eruption was detected by the Hawaii Volcano Observatory who saw a glow in summit webcam images of Kilauea
  • Earthquake activity and ground swelling was also detected earlier in the day 
  • The eruption is reported to be happening in the Halema’uma’u crater in Kilauea’s summit caldera in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
  • No evacuations or road closures have been reported as of yet, and no injuries have been reported 


Hawaii‘s Big Island was put on high alert on Wednesday after the Kilauea volcano erupted for the second time this year.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said that the eruption began at around 3.20pm when they detected a glow in summit webcam images of Kilauea.

Earthquake activity and ground swelling was also detected in the area earlier in the day.

The eruption is reported to be happening in the Halemaʻumaʻu crater in Kīlauea’s summit caldera which is found in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. 

Photos taken from the scene show lava pumping out from the surface of a crater, with smoke also pouring into the air.  

A previous eruption from the Kilauea volcano in 2018 left 24 people injured and hundreds of homes destroyed. 

There is no current threat to homes or heavily populated areas on the Big Island but the eruption is being monitored. 

The Kilauea volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island erupted for the second time this year on Wednesday 

The eruption reportedly began at around 3.20pm when a glow was detected in summit webcam images

The eruption reportedly began at around 3.20pm when a glow was detected in summit webcam images

The eruption is reported to be happening in the Halema'uma'u crater in Kilauea's summit caldera in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

The eruption is reported to be happening in the Halema’uma’u crater in Kilauea’s summit caldera in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

The U.S. Geological Survey sent a warning advisory after the alert level was raised to its highest. 

 ‘Webcam imagery shows fissures at the base of Halemaʻumaʻu crater generating lava flows on the surface of the lava lake that was active until May 2021,’ the advisory said. 

‘The US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) is elevating Kīlauea’s volcano alert level from WATCH to WARNING and its aviation color code from ORANGE to RED as this new eruption and associated hazards are evaluated.’

The advisory was raised up to a more serious ‘watch’ status around 10 minutes before the eruption began. 

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory has been following the activity of the volcano

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory has been following the activity of the volcano 

The HVO reports that the activity of the volcano has been confined to Halemaʻumaʻu.

‘The opening phases of eruptions are dynamic and uncertain. HVO continues to monitor the volcano closely and will report any significant changes in future notices,’ USGS said. 

The concern, however, is the level of high volcanic gases that are being released into the atmosphere. 

‘Large amounts of volcanic gas — primarily water vapor (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), and sulfur dioxide (SO2) — are continuously released during eruptions of Kilauea Volcano,’ HVO reported.

‘As SO2 is released from the summit, it will react in the atmosphere to create the visible haze known as vog (volcanic smog) that has been observed downwind of Kilauea.

 ‘Vog creates the potential for airborne health hazards to residents and visitors, damages agricultural crops and other plants, and affects livestock.’

The Kilauea volcano had a massive eruption in 2018 that destroyed hundreds of homes and injured 24 people

The Kilauea volcano had a massive eruption in 2018 that destroyed hundreds of homes and injured 24 people

An eruption was also reported in December 2020 that continued until May

An eruption was also reported in December 2020 that continued until May

HVO has also listed a variety of possible hazards including debris and volcanic particles that are prone to fall during eruption. 

Local residents have been advised to avoid contact with fallen particles that can cause skin and eye irritation. 

The Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, however, has remained open and no road closures have been reported as of yet. 

 The Kilauea volcano has had relatively minor eruptions in the past with the exception of the 2018 incident.

A small eruption was reported that began in December 2020 and continued until May.

Minor activity from the volcano was also reported in August but only lasted a few days.  

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