Volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island erupts just weeks after it stopped releasing lava from a previous eruption.
Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano started erupting less than a month later, and its larger neighbor Mauna Loa stopped releasing lava from an earlier eruption.
The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said it detected a glow in webcam images, indicating that Kilauea had begun erupting Thursday in Halemaumau crater on the caldera of the volcano’s summit.
Kilauea’s summit is in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and away from residential communities.
Earlier on Thursday, the United States Geological Survey raised the alert level for Kilauea over signs that magma was moving beneath the summit’s surface, an indication the volcano could erupt.
The agency said the eruption produced volcanic smog, known as vog, that has been seen downwind of Kilauea.
Kilauea is one of the world’s most active volcanoes. For about two weeks beginning Nov. 27, Hawaii had two volcanoes spewing lava side by side as Mauna Loa, the world’s largest volcano, erupted for the first time in 38 years.
Both volcanoes stopped erupting at about the same time.
During the twin eruptions, visitors to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park were able to see lava from both eruptions at the same time.
“It was a beautiful eruption, and a lot of people saw it, and it didn’t take any major infrastructure, and most importantly, it didn’t affect anyone’s life,” said Ken Hon, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientist in Charge.
Lava from Mauna Loa posed no threat to any community, but it flowed within 1.7 miles (2.7 km) of a major highway connecting the east and west sides of Hawaii, the largest island in the Hawaiian archipelago. A 2018 Kilauea eruption destroyed more than 700 homes.
The observatory will continue to monitor the volcanoes for signs of renewed activity. Hon previously said there is generally a three-month “cooling off” period before scientists consider an eruption complete.
It was unclear what connection there might be with the volcanoes that stopped erupting around the same time. The volcanoes can be seen simultaneously from multiple spots in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park near Kilauea’s caldera.
Scientists plan to look at data to study the relationship between the two volcanoes, Hon previously said.
For Native Hawaiians, volcanic eruptions have deep cultural and spiritual significance.
During Mauna Loa’s eruption, many Hawaiians took part in cultural traditions, such as leaving offerings, chanting, chanting, and dancing in honor of Pele, the deity of volcanoes and fire.