HONOLULU (AA) — Kilauea in Hawaii began erupting inside its summit crater on Thursday, less than a month after the volcano and its larger neighbor, Mauna Loa, stopped spewing lava, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
The Hawaii Volcano Observatory said it detected a glow in webcam images that indicated Kilauea had begun erupting in the Halemau crater in the caldera at the volcano’s summit.
Kilauea’s peak is inside Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and away from residential areas.
Earlier on Thursday, the U.S. Geological Survey raised the alert level for Kilauea amid signs that magma was moving below the summit surface, an indication that the volcano might erupt.
Kilauea is one of the most active volcanoes in the world. It last exploded for 16 months starting September 2021. When Mauna Loa erupted for the first time in 38 years, Hawaii had two volcanoes spewing lava side by side for about two weeks starting on November 27. Both volcanoes stopped erupting at the same time.
During the twin eruption, visitors to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park were able to see lava from both eruptions simultaneously.
“It was a beautiful eruption and a lot of people saw it and it didn’t require any major infrastructure and most importantly, it didn’t affect anyone’s life,” said Ken Hon, scientist in charge of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. .
The Mauna Loa lava posed no threat to any community, but came within 2.7 kilometers of the main highway connecting the east and west sides of the island. The 2018 Kilauea eruption destroyed more than 700 homes.
The observatory planned to continue monitoring the volcanoes for signs of renewed activity. Hon previously said that there is usually a “cooling down” period of three months before scientists consider an eruption to be complete.
It was unclear how it could be related to volcanoes that also stopped their eruptions. The volcanoes can be seen simultaneously from multiple vantage points in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park near the Kilauea caldera.
Hon previously said that scientists plan to look at the data to study the relationship between the two volcanoes.
For Native Hawaiians, volcanic eruptions have deep cultural and spiritual significance. During the eruption of Mauna Loa, many Hawaiians participated in cultural traditions such as singing, chanting, and dancing to honor Pele, the god of volcanoes and fire, and left their votives known as “hookupu”.