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Kīlauea volcano alert level is at Watch/Orange as seismic swarm continues : Maui Now

February 1, 2024, 10:20 PM HST
* Updated February 1, 10:21 PM

Unrest continues at Kīlauea with heightened seismic activity and ground tilt changes. On Jan. 31, HVO geologists were stationed on the west rim of Kaluapele (Kīlauea caldera) to document the onset of any eruptive activity at the summit. Numerous earthquakes shook the rim and frequent rockfalls occurred on the walls of Halema‘uma‘u crater, but an eruption did not occur. Earthquake activity quieted down later in the day, but later migrated along the Koa‘e fault system, where it is ongoing. USGS photo by M. Patrick.

Scientists continue to monitor Kīlauea as an ongoing seismic swarm rumbles beneath the Koaʻe fault zone, 5-8 miles southwest of the caldera.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) reports there have been an estimated 15-20 earthquakes per hour in the region for most of the day Wednesday.

HVO scientists issued an updated status report Wednesday evening saying: “Tiltmeters at Sand Hill and Uēkahuna bluff continue to show ground motion at consistent directions and rates, suggesting that the summit region is deflating as magma moves from this region to the southwest.”

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Live webcam footage is posted below:

The HVO reports a significant amount of lava has been intruded south and southwest of Kīlauea caldera since Jan. 27, 2024. 

“Models suggest an accumulation of as much as 40 million cubic yards (30 million cubic meters) in the region to the southwest of the caldera during this event.  As long as the intrusion continues, there is a chance that an eruption could occur within or southwest of the caldera with little advanced warning,” according to the HVO.

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The Kīlauea volcano alert level and aviation color code remain at WATCH/ORANGE as the situation remains dynamic. HVO continues to monitor the situation.

Source: Maui News

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