Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano erupts within national park

Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano is erupting

HONOLULU — One of the most active volcanos on Earth is erupting on Hawaii’s Big Island.

Officials with the U.S. Geological Survey confirmed Wednesday that an eruption has begun in Kilauea’s Halemaumau crater at the volcano’s summit.

The eruption is not in an area with homes and is entirely contained within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

The volcano’s alert level has been raised to “warning” and the aviation code changed to red.

Earlier Wednesday, officials said increased earthquake activity and ground swelling had been detected, and at that time raised the alert levels accordingly.

Kilauea had a major eruption in 2018 that destroyed scores of homes and displaced thousands of residents. Before that eruption, the volcano had been slowly erupting for decades, but not in residential areas. The same area of the volcano that began erupting Wednesday also erupted in December and lasted until May.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park spokeswoman Jessica Ferracane told The Associated Press that she had not yet arrived at the park, but that colleagues reported seeing some lava spatter and glow within the summit crater.

“He saw that from Volcano House, which is at least 2 miles away from the eruption site, so I suspect … we’ll be able to see a pretty glow, and who knows what else,” she said.

The Volcano House is a hotel and restaurant within the national park adjacent to the visitor center. The park is open to visitors.

Ferracane said the area that is erupting is not close to where people can hike or drive. Trails downwind from the eruption have been closed for years.

“The park is open and there are no road closures at this time,” Ferracane said.

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