Kilauea Alert Level Raised to Watch, Swarm of 100 Small Earthquake Reported

On the morning of Aug. 13, HVO geologists made observations from the western rim of Halema‘uma‘u, at the summit of Kīlauea. No active lava has been visible since May. This photo was taken from an area of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park that remains closed to the public due to safety reasons. USGS photo taken by D. Downs.

The US Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory says Kīlauea volcano is not erupting, but scientists raised the current alert level this morning from Advisory/Yellow to Watch/Orange.

The HVO reports an increase in earthquake activity beneath the south part of Kīlauea summit caldera, within Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park.

A swarm of earthquakes began at around 4:30 yesterday afternoon, intensifying at around 1:30 this morning.  As of 2:30 a.m., more than 100 small earthquakes–the largest of them a 3.3 magnitude–had occurred.  

This was accompanied by an “increased rate of ground deformation just to the west of the swarm.”

According to the HVO, these observations may indicate a small dike intrusion of magma occurring beneath the south caldera.

HVO scientists continue to monitor the situation.

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