Kīlauea Volcano Erupts on Hawaiʻi Island

Showing heightened signs of unrest since May, the Big Island volcano has erupted once again in the early hours of June 7, 2023.
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Photo: Courtesy of the Hawaiʻi Volcano Observatory/USGS

Kīlauea volcano erupts once more on the Big Island, this time being contained primarily to Halemaʻumaʻu Crater.

The Hawaiʻi Island shield volcano, which last erupted in January of 2023 before showing heightened signs of unrest in May, is once again filling Halemaʻumaʻu Crater with pools of lava and it is quite the spectacle.

The eruption began at 4:44 a.m. on June 7, 2023. There are several active vents within off-limits areas of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park and while exposure to lava is not a primary concern for the public at the moment, volcanic gas is. Fortunately, for those worried about a second coming of the last major Kīlauea eruption—which destroyed hundreds of homes during its destructive eruption—officials have indicated that there is, at the moment, no threat to populated areas on the island.

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The eruption in the early morning dawn on June 7, 2023.
Photo: Courtesy of the Hawaiʻi Volcano Observatory/USGS

Visitors and locals who want to get a view of the lava can still enter Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, which has not closed due to the eruption. It is critical to understand, however, that there will be major delays entering the park due to the large influx of people wanting to see the eruption, and finding parking in the area may also be quite the challenge. Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park officials recommend that anyone who wants to see the eruption should try to enter the park before 9 a.m., or after 9 p.m., to avoid the traffic.

So how long will the eruption last? Nobody really knows. Eruptions can be violent and fast, ending within a day or two of their start, or they can last for weeks and months on end. If you want to see what it looks like when the Kīlauea volcano erupts right now—like, right nowUSGS has a live stream of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater on its YouTube channel, and you should absolutely go check it.

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