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Eruption watch for Kilauea volcano called off

                                Halemaʻumaʻu crater, seen today, on Hawaii island.


    Halemaʻumaʻu crater, seen today, on Hawaii island.

Kilauea volcano is no longer exhibiting signs of an elevated potential for eruption.

The U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory announced this morning that earthquake activity and ground deformation beneath the southern part of Kilauea’s summit have subsided over 24 hours, which led HVO to lower an alert level that it raised on Tuesday following a swarm of earthquakes that began Monday evening and continued Tuesday.

“The earthquake swarm that began beneath the south part of Kilauea caldera, within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, on August 23, 2021, has waned,” HVO said.

The earlier swarm of earthquakes at times was averaging 10 per hour, and added up to 478 tremblers between Monday evening and Wednesday morning.

Within the past 24 hours through about 10 a.m. this morning, only 10 earthquakes were detected in the summit area, HVO reported.

Most of the earthquakes before and after the swarm were between magnitude 1 and 2, and occurred a little under or over a mile underground.

Ground deformation in Kilauea’s summit region also leveled off within the recent 24-hour period, HVO said.

“Earthquake activity and ground deformation have decreased together to levels that indicate magma is no longer moving into the region of Kilauea’s south caldera,” HVO said. “These changes indicate reduced potential for an eruption at this time.”

HVO’s alert for the volcano was reduced to an “advisory” level from a “watch.”

The “advisory” level means the volcano is exhibiting signs of elevated unrest above known background activity. This level is one above the lowest level. The “watch” level is often used to indicate a volcano is exhibiting heightened or escalating unrest with increased potential of eruption with an uncertain time frame.

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