The U.S. Geological Survey said an eruption that started Sunday night at the Kilauea volcano on Hawaii's Big Island is unleashing plumes of smoke into the air with concerns about ashfall.
The National Weather Service in Honolulu warned residents in surrounding communities about excessive exposure to ash could result in eye and respiratory issues.
HFO issues PERIODS OF ASHFALL LIKELY FROM KILAUEA VOLCANO for South Big Island [HI] till 2:00 AM HST https://t.co/4aYeFEcVw6— NWSHonolulu (@NWSHonolulu) December 21, 2020
The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) posted an update on its website calling the situation "rapidly evolving" and said communities around Kilauea's summit and rift zones to "be prepared."
Pictures and videos of the eruption have been uploaded to social media, showing "the western rim of Kīlauea Caldera. Lava is erupting from a fissure in the NW wall of Halemaʻumaʻu crater and cascading into the deepest part of the crater, which had been occupied by a water lake (now replaced with a growing lava lake)," tweeted USGS Volcanoes.
View from the western rim of Kīlauea Caldera. Lava is erupting from a fissure in the NW wall of Halemaʻumaʻu crater and cascading into the deepest part of the crater, which had been occupied by a water lake (now replaced with a growing lava lake). pic.twitter.com/VKIFA1Npr0— USGS Volcanoes🌋 (@USGSVolcanoes) December 21, 2020
According to KITV4 Island News, an earthquake was reported at the start of the eruption. Here are the first images of the eruption, courtesy of EpicLava.
"We have an amazing eruption going on right now," said one person near the volcano.
🚨 // BREAKING NEWS - Raw Video 🚨— MeshNewsDesk (@MeshNewsDesk) December 21, 2020
// Mt. Kilauea on Hawaii's main island erupts in the middle of the night
// Follow @MeshNewsDesk for Raw Video as News Happens#Hawaii #Kilauea #eruption #video #BreakingNews #breaking #NEWS pic.twitter.com/KdFeIiQ3mB