Alert level for Kīlauea raised to warning/red as eruption is monitored overnight
Update 8:09 p.m. Jan. 5: Multiple minor fountains are active in the central eastern portion of Halema‘uma‘u crater floor; the largest lava fountain is consistently about 32 feet high. Fountain bursts up to 98 feet high occurred around 7:45 p.m. and there were several bursts up to 164 feet high during the initial part of the eruption.
Lava flows have inundated much of the crater floor, which is nearly 300 acres. As of approximately 7:30 p.m. about 32 feet depth of new lava had been added to the crater floor. Summit tilt switched from inflation to deflation around 5 p.m. Following the eruption onset, summit earthquake activity greatly diminished and eruptive tremor (a signal associated with fluid movement) resumed.
Volcanic gas emissions in the eruption area are elevated. Kīlauea’s volcano alert level and aviation color code will remain at WARNING/RED as this eruption and associated hazards are evaluated overnight.
The summit eruption of Kīlauea has not had an impact on Mauna Loa. Mauna Loa remains quiet.
Update 4:40 p.m. Jan. 5: The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory has raised the volcano alert level/aviation color code for Kīlauea on the Big Island to Watch/Orange.
Kīlauea volcano is not erupting. But the change in the alert level is due to increased earthquake activity and changes in the patterns of ground deformation at Kīlauea’s summit that began occurring in the early morning of Jan. 5.
This indicates movement of magma in the subsurface.
At this time, scientiest at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory say it is not possible to determine with certainty if this seismic activity will lead to an eruption. The activity may remain below ground.
However, an eruption in Kīlauea’s summit region, within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park and away from infrastructure, is one potential outcome.
The observatory will continue to monitor this activity closely and adjust the alert level accordingly.
HVO is in constant communication with Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park as this situation evolves. The activity is confined entirely within the park.