There’s a New Eruption at Kīlauea Volcano in Hawaiʻi

Halemaʻumaʻu crater is now a lava lake.
An eruption started at Kīlauea summit at around 9:30 p.m. Dec. 20 with multiple fissures on the opening walls of Halemaʻumaʻu crater on Hawaiʻi Island. Photo: Courtesy of U.S. Geological Survey

Hawaiʻi Island residents woke up to an unexpected overnight eruption at Kīlauea’s Halemaʻumaʻu crater this morning.

On Sunday night an eruption sent plumes of smoke into the air but posed no immediate threats to nearby communities. No evacuations were needed.

By 1 a.m. U.S. Geological Survey officials reported lava fountains that shot 165 feet into the sky. Halemaʻumaʻu crater, which had been filled with water, had turned into a lava lake. Officials said a fissure in the north west wall of the crater was highly active, saying the situation “is rapidly evolving.”

In addition, a 4.4 earthquake on Kīlauea’s south flank was recorded at 10:36 p.m. The epicenter was located at a depth of 3.4 miles and far too weak to generate a tsunami.

This is the first activity at Kīlauea since August 2018, after months of unprecendented activity that started with the sudden collapse of Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater in April and ultimately destroyed more than 700 homes.

To view live webcams inside Halemaʻumaʻu, visit here.

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