Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano erupts for third time this year as authorities issue ‘red’ warning

Volcano’s aviation level warning increased to ‘red’

Shweta Sharma
Monday 11 September 2023 03:59 BST
Hawaii volcano Kilauea erupts with fountains of lava as authorities issue ‘red’ warning

The Kilauea volcano in Hawaii has begun erupting after a hiatus of around two months, spewing fountains of lava and leading emergency authorities to raise its alert level.

Kilauea, one of the most active volcanoes in the world, burst open for the third time this year.

“The opening phases of eruptions are dynamic,” said USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory in a statement.

The volcano’s current alert level was increased to “warning” from “watch” and the aviation level warning was increased to “red”, said Hawaii Emergency Management Agency.

The Kilauea volcano began erupting around 3.18pm Hawaiian time on Sunday at the Halemaʻumaʻu crater in the national park on the Big Island.

The live webcam image shows fissures at the base of the volcano’s crater spewing glowing magma and releasing huge clouds of smoke over a vast area.

“The eruption was preceded by a period of strong seismicity and rapid uplift of the summit,” SGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said.

It said that the gases released by the eruption will lead to “volcanic smog” flowing with the winds that are expected to further deteriorate the air quality.

There is no threat to people who live at a safe distance from the area, the observatory said. But it advised the residents to avoid volcanic particles spewed into the air by the eruption as it can cause breathing problems.

The second-largest volcano in Hawaii had been lying dormant for the last two months after bursting open in January and June this year.

In 2019, a huge eruption at Kilauea led to a string of earthquakes and caused the destruction of hundreds of homes and businesses. It continued to erupt for three months.

An eruption in 2018 also led to the destruction of more than 700 homes and other structures in the neaby area.

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