|General view of lava surfacing on the Halema'uma'u crater of Kilauea volcano in Kilauea, Hawaii, U.S. September 29, 2021, in this still image provided by the USGS surveillance camera. Mandatory credit USGS|
Hawaii's Kīlauea volcano was erupting in "full swing" late on Wednesday, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said, with local media reporting that the eruption posed no immediate danger to residents.
Officials note that while there is no present danger to nearby residents on Hawaii's Big Island, the situation will be monitored for further escalation.
The US Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory had raised its watch alert level earlier in the day after it recorded an increase in seismic readings.
"Increased earthquake activity and changes in the patterns of ground deformation at Kilauea's summit began occurring as of approximately noon on September 29, 2021, indicating movement of magma in the subsurface," USGS said.
Kīlauea’s eruption continues through the night! And where you find lava, you'll also find volcanologists making observations and collecting data. Activity is still confined to a crater that is within the closed area of Kīlauea’s summit. #KilaueaErupts #Kilauea pic.twitter.com/4taQXgpok4— USGS Volcanoes🌋 (@USGSVolcanoes) September 30, 2021
The agency said it detected with observatory webcams a glow within Kilauea's summit crater at around 3:20 p.m. local time, indicating that an eruption had commenced.
"What was once a cooling lava lake is now a new fissure eruption," USGS Volcanoes said in a tweet.
The U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) elevated Kīlauea's volcano alert level from "WATCH" to "WARNING" and its aviation color code from "ORANGE" to "RED" as the new eruption and associated hazards are evaluated, USGS said.
The latest alert level and color code imply that a hazardous eruption is "imminent, underway or suspected", according to the USGS website.
The eruption was not in an area with homes and was fully contained within the Hawaiian Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii News Now reported, citing officials.