HONOLULU – Kilauea volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii has erupted, the US Geological Survey has said.
The eruption began Sunday evening in Halema’uma’u crater. The volcano is located in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
A magnitude 4.4 earthquake struck about an hour after the volcano erupted.
At 1 a.m., USGS officials told Hawaii News Now that there were reports of lava fountains shooting about 50 meters into the sky and feeding a growing lava lake in the crater that contained some water.
David Phillips, a spokesperson for the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, said the agency was monitoring the situation.
“We will send further notifications to Kilauea and other Hawaiian volcanoes as we see changes,” he said.
The USGS said it has received more than 500 reports of people feeling the quake, but significant damage to buildings or structures was not expected.
A warning was issued by the National Weather Service in Honolulu warning of ash that fell from the volcano. Excessive exposure to ash is an eye and respiratory irritant, he says. The agency later said the eruption was subsiding and a “low-level cloud of vapor” persisted in the area.
Kilauea erupted in 2018, destroying more than 700 homes and spewing enough lava to fill 320,000 Olympic swimming pools. An area more than half the size of Manhattan was buried in up to 80 feet (24 meters) of now hardened lava. The lava flowed for four months.