Hawaii’s Kīlauea volcano, one of the most active and dangerous volcanoes in the world (and also the most visited volcano in the world), began erupting violently yesterday after a nearby crater collapsed on Saturday. Enjoy the videos above and below capturing this, via the AP and Reuters/Guardian, respectively.
“Hawaii Volcano Observatory scientists said the floor of the crater dropped 377 feet over almost three hours on Saturday and a fissure developed between the Pu’u ‘O’o and Napau craters on Kilauea,” CNN reports. The lava lake on Kīlauea’s summit also dropped as a result.
Apparently, no homes have been damaged by this eruption, but park rangers are advising that tourists keep their distance and some roads and trails have been closed.
The eruptions can reportedly be seen from approximately 1.5 miles (2.4 km) away safely.
Kīlauea is “one of five shield volcanoes that together form the island of Hawaiʻi. It is the most recent of a series of volcanoes that have created the Hawaiian archipelago, as the Pacific Plate moves over the Hawaii hotspot.” It has been continuously erupting since 1983 and, not including the current episode, 34 eruptions have occurred since 1952.
To put the scale of this into perspective, “the volume of erupted material is large enough to pave a road across the world three times.”
While Kīlauea has been erupting for many years, geologist Janet Babb of the U.S. Geological Survey said that this weekend’s activity indicates “new episodes in eruptions and further unknowns.”
Below is a picture of Kīlauea erupting in 1954, via Wikipedia.
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