The United States Geological Survey (USGS) identified the Kilauea volcano as one of the most active volcanoes in the world. Last September 29, authorities have detected a seismic activity within the volcano that suggests that an upward movement of magma is imminent.
This prompted the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) to raise the Aviation Color to Orange and Volcano Alert Level to Watch, according to Smithsonian Institution Global Volcanism Program.
Kilauea Volcano Eruption as Seen From Space
At around 3:21 pm local time, HVO raised the Aviation Color Code to Red from Orange and the Volcano Alert Level to Warning from Watch. Officials detected a new eruption at that time when incandescence was seen from Halema'uma'u Crater.
Fissures opened along the bottom of the crater floor and produced lava fountains, as well as a large plume of steam, carbon dioxide, and sulfur dioxide. Measurements after the eruption showed that sulfur dioxide emissions were around 85,000 tons per day.
Over an hour later, another fissure with several vents opened on the inner west side of Halema'uma'u Crater, which produced a low lava fountain and flows that descended to the crater floor. At about 5:09 pm, the vent expanded, and lava from both fissures pooled on the solidified lava lake and quickly created a new lava lake.
Meanwhile, Space.com reported that the Worldview-2 and Worldview-3 satellites of Maxar Technologies captured photos of lava inside the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii taken on September 30 and October 1. These photos were shared on the Twitter account of the company, showing an eerie glow from the volcano's crater.
The USGS stated on a daily update on October 6 that lava continues to erupt from the two vents, but they are all confined within the Halema'uma'u Crater in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. They added that seismic activity and volcanic gas emission remain elevated as the eruption continues.
Authorities continue to monitor the Kilauea volcano for "high levels of volcanic gas" as these gases can create a visible haze known as vog when they hit the atmosphere. The volcanic smog is considered a potential health hazard to humans, livestock, and crops.
Magnitude-6.2 Earthquake and Aftershocks Detected in Southwest Hawaii
In an update on October 10, the USGS reported an offshore magnitude-6.2 earthquake in the southwest of Hawaii at 11:48 am HST. According to the report, the epicenter was detected about 17 miles (27 kilometers) south-southeast of Nāʻālehu at a depth of 22 miles (35 kilometers).
Aftershocks soon followed the earthquake in which a magnitude-4.3 aftershock was recorded at 11:53 am, and two more followed at a later time. Authorities warned of more possible aftershocks as strong shaking, with a maximum intensity of level VI, have been reported across the Island of Hawaii.
The USGS said that the depth, location, and seismic waves suggest that the bending of the oceanic plate from the weight of the Hawaiian island chain most likely caused the earthquake, which is a common source of a seismic event.
HVO Scientist-in-Charge Ken Hon said webcams and other data streams showed that earthquakes had no observable impact on Mauna Loa and Kilauea volcano, except for minor rockfalls reported within Halemaʻumaʻu Crater where the current eruption is happening. HVO continues to monitor any changes in the volcanoes.
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