Kilauea volcano eruption update: Latest thermal images as eruption continues

Drone footage shows new eruption at Kīlauea's summit

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Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano is erupting again and volcanic gas is being emitted from the cone as lava meets the air. The US Geological Survey (USGS) said the volcano eruption is in “full-swing” with the agency elevating the alert level for the volcano last week.

As of Sunday, October 3, at 9.59am HST (8.49pm BST), the USGS update indicated the Kilauea volcano is continuing to erupt.

Lava is continuing to erupt from multiple vents along the floor and western wall of the Halema’uma’u crater.

All lava activity is confined within the Halema’uma’u in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

Over the past 24 hours, the lava lake level has climbed more than one metre – rising 27m since the eruption started.

Seismicity and volcanic gas emission rates also remain elevated.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) escalated the alert level for the volcano last week.

The current alert level is red which means eruption is underway or suspected with significant emission of volcanic ash into the atmosphere.

Sulfur dioxide emission rates remain high and were approximately 14,750 tonnes per day on October 2, 2021, which was higher than the previous day.

Seismicity is elevated but stable and summit tiltmeters continue to record deflationary tilt.

High levels of volcanic gas are a primary hazard of concern as it can have a huge impact given the downwind impact.

The emissions primarily include water vapour, carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide.

As sulphur dioxide is released from the summit, it reacts in the atmosphere to create the visible haze known as volcanic smog.

This volcanic smog, known as vog, creates the potential for harmful health impacts to humans and livestock, damage to agricultural crops and other plants.

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The most recent eruption of Hawaii’s youngest volcano began on Wednesday afternoon.

The eruption was the first seen at the site for almost a year.

The impressive phenomenon has taken place within the boundaries of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park – which has remained open to visitors who which to observe the lava glow and smoke cloud from a safe distance.

The eruption is taking place in a section of the park which has remained closed to the public since 2007.

Since 1952, Kilauea has erupted 34 times meaning it ranks among the world’s most active volcanoes and may even top this list.

Eruption activity was almost continuous from 1983 to 2018 along the volcano’s East Rift Zone.

At the summit, a vent within Halema‘uma‘u hosted an active lava pond and vigorous gas plume from 2008 to 2018.

In 2018, the decades-long continuous activity on the East Rift Zone ended and the summit lava lake drained following an intrusion into and eruption from Kīlauea’s lower East Rift Zone.

A summit eruption from December 2020 to May 2021 created a lava lake within the Halema‘uma‘u crater.

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