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Kilauea volcano alert levels lowered 2 days after eruption

M. ZOELLER / HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY
                                The latest eruption on Kilauea’s Southwest Rift Zone stopped after about nine hours on Monday. On Tuesday, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologists visited the eruption area to measure Monday’s lava flows. Shown here, a geologist examines part of the lava flow from fissure 2.
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M. ZOELLER / HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY

The latest eruption on Kilauea’s Southwest Rift Zone stopped after about nine hours on Monday. On Tuesday, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologists visited the eruption area to measure Monday’s lava flows. Shown here, a geologist examines part of the lava flow from fissure 2.

COURTESY USGS
                                This aerial image from about 6 a.m. Monday shows lava flowing from the Southwest Rift Zone eruption of Kilauea.
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COURTESY USGS

This aerial image from about 6 a.m. Monday shows lava flowing from the Southwest Rift Zone eruption of Kilauea.

M. ZOELLER / HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY
                                The latest eruption on Kilauea’s Southwest Rift Zone stopped after about nine hours on Monday. On Tuesday, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologists visited the eruption area to measure Monday’s lava flows. Shown here, a geologist examines part of the lava flow from fissure 2.
COURTESY USGS
                                This aerial image from about 6 a.m. Monday shows lava flowing from the Southwest Rift Zone eruption of Kilauea.

The short-lived eruption of Kilauea this week is “unlikely to restart,” according to scientists at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory who lowered the volcano alert levels today.

For nine hours starting about 12:30 a.m. Monday, lava erupted from fissures roughly 2.5 miles southwest of Kilauea’s summit caldera. The eruption came a day after hundred of small earthquakes shook the summit region.

But by about 9 a.m. Monday, the lava had stopped flowing and the seismic activity had decreased substantially.

HVO scientists said this morning that the eruption “has been paused for 48 hours and is unlikely to restart. Accordingly, the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory is lowering the volcano alert level for ground-based hazards from watch to advisory and the Aviation Color Code from orange to yellow.”

“While decreasing, volcanic gas emissions at the eruption site remain well above background levels (100 tonnes per day), with a sulfur dioxide emission rate of 5,500 tonnes per day measured yesterday, June 4, down from 12,000-15,000 tonnes per day on June 3,” they said in an update.

While Monday’s eruption was brief, it was still longer than the last Kilauea eruption in the same location about 40 years ago. In December 1974, lava flowed for about six hours in the same area southwest of the summit, compared with 8.5 hours for the latest eruption.

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