Kilauea volcano has resumed its eruption with lava returning to Halemaumau crater late Wednesday afternoon.
The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory posted a 3:40 p.m. photo of lava in the crater shortly after raising the alert level for the volcano to a watch from an advisory.
HVO said there had been increased ground deformation and seismic activity Wednesday afternoon.
The U.S. Geological Survey listed about 17 small earthquakes between magnitude 2.5 and 2.9 in the region over the past day.
HVO officials said shortly after 4 p.m. that they have raised the alert level to “red” or warning.
“Kilauea volcano is erupting. At approximately 3:20 p.m. HST on September 29, 2021, the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) detected glow in Kilauea summit webcam images indicating that an eruption has commenced within Halemaumau crater in Kilauea’s summit caldera, within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. 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.
HVO also raised its aviation color advisory code to red from orange “as this new eruption and associated hazards are evaluated.”
“The activity is confined to Halemaumau and the hazards will be reassessed as the eruption progresses,” officials said. “The eruption is currently taking place entirely within the closed area of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.”
In a social media post, the Hawaii Red Cross stressed: “There is currently NO THREAT to any homes or populated areas of the Big Island. We will continue to monitor the event and update as needed.”
In spring 2018, Kilauea had a major eruption in Leilani Estates that destroyed hundreds of homes and displaced thousands of residents. Before that eruption, the volcano had been slowly erupting for more than 30 years. The eruption ended in late summer 2018, but lava returned to Halemaumau last December and that eruption lasted until May.