Story at a glance
- Hawai’i’s Kīlauea volcano erupted on Sunday, triggering earthquakes and lava flows.
- Officials say the situation is “rapidly evolving.”
Hawai’i’s Kīlauea volcano erupted late on the evening on Dec. 20, prompting a 4.4 magnitude earthquake as lava cascades down into the Halema’uma’u crater.
The water lake that was previously forming in Halemaʻumaʻu has now disappeared, as lava has once again made an appearance inside of the crater. https://t.co/S7gdIGajiZ— Hawaii Volcanoes NPS (@Volcanoes_NPS) December 21, 2020
The eruption prompted the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) to issue a Warning and Red alert, signifying that a hazardous eruption is “imminent, underway, or suspected.” The Red color-code alert also means that a significant emission of volcanic ash is expected to be emitted into the atmosphere.
Kīlauea is the youngest and southeastern most volcano on Hawai’i and considered active. It last erupted in 2018 and decimated scores of homes and forced thousands of evacuations.
The volcano’s south flank is historically subject to abrupt movements, which spawn earthquakes.
“HVO continues to monitor Kīlauea as the situation is rapidly evolving with this evening’s eruption at the summit of Kīlauea,” HVO acting Scientist-in-Charge David Phillips said. “We will send out further notifications on Kīlauea and other Hawaiian volcanoes as we observe changes.”
Aftershocks in the 2.5-2.7 magnitude range were also reported, per CNN.