La Palma volcano spews lava as it continues to erupt
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The eruption began at around 3.20pm HST (2.20am BST), and is concentrated around the Halemaʻumaʻu crater.
In response the HVO has increased its alert level from ‘Watch’ to ‘Warning’, whilst any dangers associated with the eruption are assessed.
Its code has also been changed from ‘Orange’ to ‘Red’, by the US Geographical Survey.
This indicates an eruption is underway or imminent, with “significant emission of volcanic ash into the atmosphere”.
In a statement the HVO said: “The opening phases of eruptions are dynamic and uncertain.
“HVO continues to monitor the volcano closely and will report any significant changes in future notices.
“HVO is in constant communication with Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park as this situation evolves.
“The eruption is currently taking place entirely within the closed area of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
“HVO is in constant communication with the County of Hawai‘i Civil Defense Agency.”
Hawaii Volcanoes national park remains open, as the eruption is not near where visitors can drive or hike to.
Jessica Ferracane, a spokesperson for the park, said colleagues reported seeing lava glow and splatter from Kilauea volcano’s summit crater.
Referring to one colleague she said: “He saw that from Volcano House, which is at least 2 miles away from the eruption site.
“I suspect we’ll be able to see a pretty glow, and who knows what else.
“The park is open and there are no road closures at this time.”
Ahead of the eruption authorities recorded an increase in ground swelling and earthquake activity.
In response they raised the alert levels in place for the volcano.
The National Park Service released a statement warning the eruption could be dangerous.
They commented: “Volcanic eruptions can be hazardous and change at any time.
“Stay on marked trails and overlooks, and avoid earth cracks and cliff edges. Do not enter closed areas.
“Hazardous volcanic gases are billowing out the crater and present a danger to everyone, especially people with heart or respiratory problems, infants, young children and pregnant women.”
Kilauea had a huge eruption in 2018, which destroyed more than 700 homes on Hawaii.
Thousands were forced to flee, with lava burying an area at least half the size of Manhattan.
According to The Guardian enough lava was excreted to fill 320,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
Previously, Kilauea had been erupting sporadically since 1983.
Lava streams occasionally hit homes and rural farms, destroying them.
The lava also managed to reach the sea, sparking powerful chemical reactions.
More to follow…
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