Officials note that while there is no current danger to nearby residents on the Big Island of Hawaii, the situation will be monitored for further escalation.
The US Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcanoes Observatory raised its alert level earlier today after recording an increase in seismic readings.
“The increase in seismic activity and changes in soil deformation patterns at the summit of Kilauea began to occur around noon on September 29, 2021, indicating movement of magma in the subsoil,” said the ‘USGS.
The agency said it detected with the observatory’s webcams a glow in the summit crater of Kilauea at around 3:20 p.m. local time, indicating that an eruption had started.
“Right after midnight we started to have some increase in seismic activity and seismic swarms,” he said.
The eruption is entirely within the boundaries of the park. There is currently no threat to life or infrastructure, Phillips said, but the eruption could potentially last for months.
Last month, a recorded increase in seismic activity led the observatory to increase its volcanic alert from “advise” to “watch,” the USGS said.
Kilauea’s most recent eruption began last December and authorities have asked residents to stay indoors to avoid exposure to ash clouds. The volcano continued to discharge lava for five months.
In 2018, an eruption destroyed more than 700 homes and forced residents to evacuate.
CNN’s Travis Caldwell contributed to this report.