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Sudden Massive Volcano Eruption on Hawaii Island

Volcano on Hawaii erupted

On Hawaii Island (Big Island of Hawaii) the Hawaii County Civil Defense reported the Halemaʻumaʻu Crater within the Kīlauea Caldera suddenly erupted after 9.30 pm Hawaii time Sunday night.

Hawaii Island media reports that according to the HVO (Hawaiian Volcano Observatory), it looks like it’s all contained within the crater, however, the National Weather Service did say that there was a plume that was released from Halemaumau that had risen up to 30,000 feet.

Civil Defense said it is monitoring the situation, particularly the plume, which prompted a special weather statement from the National Weather Service. Winds were blowing the plume south and then southwest.

Civil Defense cautioned that ash fallout is likely in Wood Valley, Pahala, Naalehu, and Ocean View and advised residents and visitors to stay indoors to avoid exposure to ash.

At 12:21 am Monday, the National Weather Service said in an updated special weather statement that Civil Defense reported no ashfall near and downwind of Kilauea’s summit, including on Highway 11.

There are no reports of damage from the public. No damage was reported at the observatory or within the park.

A magnitude 4.4 earthquake that struck at 10:36 pm on Kilauea’s south flank was not large enough to cause a tsunami.

For the past several weeks, the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory has recorded ground deformation and earthquake rates at Kilauea Volcano’s summit and upper East Rift Zone that have exceeded background levels observed since the conclusion of the 2018 lower East Rift Zone eruption and summit collapse, the observatory said late Sunday.

Other monitoring data streams including volcanic gas and webcam imagery were stable until Sunday’s eruption.

According to the observatory, Sunday night’s eruption was preceded by an earthquake swarm accompanied by ground deformation detected by tiltmeters. An orange glow was subsequently observed on IR monitoring cameras and visually beginning approximately 9:36 pm Hawaii time.