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Eruption at Kīlauea has Stabilized

December 21, 2020, 7:47 AM HST
* Updated December 21, 7:51 AM
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The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports the eruption at Kīlauea Volcano on Sunday has stabilized.

The Halema‘uma‘u Crater lake has evaporated and has slowly been replaced with a lava lake. The threat of ash fallout is very low but is possible in the Ka‘ū and South Kona Districts.

The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) detected a glow within the Halema‘uma‘u crater at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano at approximately 9:30 p.m. on Sunday. About an hour later, the US Geological Survey’s HVO recorded a magnitude-4.4 earthquake located beneath Kīlauea Volcano’s south flank at 10:36 p.m.

There is no tsunami threat.

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“HVO continues to monitor Kīlauea as the situation is rapidly evolving with this evening’s eruption at the summit of Kīlauea,” said HVO acting Scientist-in-Charge David Phillip. “We will send out further notifications on Kīlauea and other Hawaiian volcanoes as we observe changes.”

HVO has elevated Kīlauea’s volcano alert level to “warning” and its aviation color code to RED. HVO continues to monitor the volcano closely and will report any significant changes.

Kīlauea’s south flank has been the site of over 30 earthquakes of magnitude-4.0 or greater during the past 20 years. Most are caused by abrupt motion of the volcano’s south flank, which moves to the southeast over the oceanic crust. The location, depth, and waveforms recorded as part of today’s earthquake are consistent with motion along the south flank detachment fault.

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