Kilauea volcano violently blew its top in April last year, expelling cubic tonnes of lava and casting ash and gas high into the atmosphere. For more than a month the volcano continued, absorbing Big Island’s west side and causing hazards to nearby residents. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) closely monitored the situation with help from local authorities and avoided any deaths. However, hazards remain for people nearby, as the volcano is still active.
Is Kilauea volcano still erupting?
Kilauea volcano stopped major eruptions in May last year, after a month of near-continuous activity.
Lava flow erupted from the volcano’s main crater from April 30 to May 3, and since then it has calmed down a lot.
The USGS says Kilauea is no longer erupting but is under constant surveillance.
USGS has warned the volcano could erupt again, however.
They said: “Monitoring data over the past eight months have shown relatively low rates of seismicity, deformation, and gas emission at the summit and East Rift Zone (ERZ) including the area of the 2018 eruption.
“Despite this classification, Kīlauea remains an active volcano, and it will erupt again.
“Although we expect clear signs prior to a return to eruption, the time frame of warning may be short.”
The main area where the volcano has been active is also still a risk, as the USGS has advised people to stay up to date with Hawaii Civil Defence messages.
Many of the features created by the volcano are still young, and the land around the eruption is fragile.
Last year’s eruption mainly swept over a small portion of Hawaii’s Big Island on private property.
More than 500 homes were destroyed in the eruption, and as a result, most features lie on personal property.
USGS said: “Small collapses at Puʻu ʻŌʻō have occurred since the eruption due to instability.
“Hazards remain in the lower East Rift Zone eruption area and at the Kīlauea summit.
“Residents and visitors near the 2018 fissures, lava flows, and summit collapse area should heed Hawaii County Civil Defense and National Park warnings.
“Hawaii County Civil Defense advises that lava flows and features created by the 2018 eruption are primarily on private property and persons are asked to be respectful and not enter or park on private property.”