Kilauea, the active volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island, has been erupting since 1983. In May 2018, Kilauea’s volcanic activity significantly increased, forcing the closure of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and causing evacuations. After months of destruction, the eruption slowed down in August 2018, but the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory warns that volcanic activity at Kilauea still continues today. The volcano’s summit remains active, with small earthquakes and gas emissions. Visitors to the area are advised to stay informed and follow guidance from local authorities, while recovery efforts for the local community are still ongoing.
Volcanic Activity at Kilauea Continues Despite Temporary Pause
Kilauea, the most active volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii, has been erupting since 1983. However, in May 2018, there was a dramatic increase in volcanic activity, resulting in the closure of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, evacuations of nearby residents, and destruction of homes and businesses. In August 2018, the eruption slowed down, but volcanic activity at Kilauea continues to this day.
Kilauea is a shield volcano, which means that it has a broad, gentle slope made up of multiple layers of lava. It is located on the southeastern side of Hawaii’s Big Island and is one of the world’s most active volcanoes, regularly producing lava flows that reach the ocean.
In May 2018, Kilauea’s eruption began to intensify, with lava fountains reaching heights of over 200 feet and ash plumes rising up to 30,000 feet. This increase in activity was due to a collapse of the volcano’s summit, which caused magma to move underground and feed the eruption. Over the course of several months, lava flows destroyed over 700 homes and covered over 13 square miles of land.
Current State of the Eruption
In August 2018, the eruption at Kilauea began to slow down, and the lava flows that had been covering the area around the volcano came to a halt. However, according to the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, volcanic activity at Kilauea continues to this day. Although there has not been any visible lava activity since 2018, the volcano’s summit continues to be active, with small earthquakes and gas emissions occurring regularly.
Additionally, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports that there is still a possibility that Kilauea could erupt again in the future, and that the volcano remains closely monitored to ensure the safety of nearby residents and visitors to the area.
Is it safe to visit the Big Island of Hawaii?
Yes, it is safe to visit the Big Island of Hawaii. While Kilauea has been active in recent years, the areas around the volcano have been deemed safe for visitors. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has also reopened and is welcoming visitors to explore the park’s unique geological features.
What should I do if I’m traveling to the Big Island and there is an eruption?
If you are traveling to the Big Island and there is an eruption at Kilauea, it is important to stay informed and follow the guidance of local authorities. Pay attention to any evacuation orders or other warnings, and be prepared to change your travel plans if necessary.
Is Kilauea still a threat?
While Kilauea is currently in a period of reduced activity, it remains an active volcano and could erupt again in the future. The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory continues to closely monitor the volcano and provide updates on any changes in volcanic activity.
What is the best way to see Kilauea?
The best way to see Kilauea is by visiting Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The park offers a variety of hiking trails and scenic viewpoints that allow visitors to experience the volcano up close. Visitors can also take guided tours of the park, including evening tours that offer a chance to see the volcano’s lava glowing in the dark.
How has Kilauea’s eruption affected the local community?
Kilauea’s 2018 eruption had a significant impact on the local community, with over 700 homes destroyed and many residents displaced. However, the community has come together to support one another, and recovery efforts are ongoing. Visitors to the area can support these efforts by patronizing local businesses and participating in volunteer opportunities.