Kilauea volcano erupts on Hawaii’s Big Island, causing earthquake

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The Kilauea volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island erupted Sunday night – spewing a steaming torrent of lava followed by a magnitude 4.4 earthquake, according to reports.

The eruption was reported at the Halemaumau Crater of the volcano, the Hawaii county Civil Defense Agency said Monday, requesting that residents remain indoors.

“Trade winds will push any embedded ash toward the Southwest. Fallout is likely in the Kau District in Wood Valley, Pahala, Naalehu and Ocean View,” it said in a tweet.

The eruption began with multiple fissures opening on the walls of Halemaumau crater, according to the US Geological Survey, which posted dramatic footage of the event.

“The growing lava lake has almost reached the level of the lowest down-dropped block that formed during the 2018 collapse events,” the USGS said, adding that the lake had risen by about 32 feet.

The USGS warned of a “significant emission of volcanic ash into the atmosphere” and upgraded its aviation color code to red — advising pilots to avoid the area.

Scientists were assessing the hazards and communicating with the County Civil Defense Agency and the national park, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.

David Phillips, acting scientist-in-charge of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, said: “HVO continues to monitor Kilauea as the situation is rapidly evolving with this evening’s eruption at the summit of Kilauea.

“We will send out further notifications on Kilauea and other Hawaiian volcanoes as we observe changes,” he added.

The eruption marks a resumption of the volcano’s activity since the summer of 2018 when a 35-year eruption subsided, according to the newspaper.

Ikaika Marzo, who posted video on social media of the lava as it entered Leilani Estates in the 2018 eruption, noticed temblors throughout the day Sunday.

“The last two hours, we’ve been having a lot of earthquakes,” Marzo told the Star-Advertiser in a phone interview Sunday night.

Kilauea is one of the world’s most active volcanoes and has been erupting regularly since the 1950s.

In 2014, Big Island declared a state of emergency after lava from the volcano ignited a house and threatened the entire town of Pahoa on the eastern tip of the island, according to Agence France-Presse,

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