Out of the five volcanoes on Hawaii’s Big Island, Kilauea is the most active — and it’s threatening to erupt. After a collapse event at the Pu’u ‘Ō’ō vent, in the volcano’s East Rift Zone, around 250 earthquakes happened. Authorities are warning people to remain on alert, because scientists observed magma flowing under a main road close to houses.
Will Kilauea erupt? Seismic activity could result in a lava breakout, but Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists can’t say exactly what time or where it might happen. The crater collapse and earthquakes are “associated with the continued intrusion of magma into the East Rift Zone to locations east of Highway 130. An outbreak of lava from the lower East Rift Zone remains a possible outcome of the continued unrest,” according to the observatory. The Independent said there are homes in that part of the island, and Highway 130 leads to an access point enabling visitors to hike or cycle to a lava viewing area.
Local residents have noticed cracks in roads near the Leilani Estates subdivision, but so far neither heat nor steam have been observed escaping from the cracks, which are small. The Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency said areas that could be impacted are Leilani Estates, Nanawale Estates or Kapoho.
The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory offered resources for those who want to stay updated about Kilauea; sign up for notification emails from the Volcano Notification Service at this USGS website or sign up for the Civil Defense Emergency Notification System at the County of Hawaii website.
The volcano’s activity hasn’t always been explosive in the past, but a 1924 eruption spewed ash and rocks into the air and killed one man. The summit crater gushed rock and lava across 75 acres in 2008, and a view point was damaged.