Erupting Hawaii volcano danger decreases

·1-min read

US Geological Survey officials have lowered the alert level for a Hawaii volcano, saying they expect its latest eruption to remain confined to the summit.

The eruption began last week in Kilauea volcano's Halemaumau crater.

Officials with the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory had raised Kilauea's alert level to 'warning' and its aviation code to red as they assessed the intensity of lava fountains covering the floor of the crater and billowing clouds of volcanic gas rising in the air.

Over the past several days, a thick layer of molten lava accumulated as a lake at the base of the crater, partially drowning the vents and resulting in subdued fountains of lava, the observatory said.

Observatory officials on Monday afternoon lowered the alert level to 'watch' and the aviation code to orange "reflecting the less-hazardous nature of the ongoing eruption."

The eruption remains confined to the crater in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. It is not in an area of the Big Island where there are any homes.

Kilauea had a major eruption in 2018 that destroyed more than 700 homes and displaced thousands of residents. The volcano had been slowly erupting for decades, but mostly not in densely populated residential areas.

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