Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano erupts, lava fountains form in park

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

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

Webcam footage of the crater showed lava fountains covering the floor of the crater and billowing clouds of volcanic gas were rising into the air. The same area has been home to a large lava lake at various times throughout the volcano’s eruptive past.

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

“All signs indicate that it will stay within the crater,” said Ken Hon, the USGS scientist in charge of Hawaii Volcano Observatory. “We’re not seeing any indications that lava is moving into the lower part of the east rift zone where people live. Currently all the activity is within the 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.

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