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It also is a shield volcano, with a summit caldera about the same size as Mauna Loa’s but not quite as deep.Halema‘uma‘u Crater, located within Kilauea’s caldera, is the volcano’s most active vent.The first signs of an impending eruption started over a month ago, when the Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō crater in Kilauea's east rift zone began experiencing uplift, indicating a growing magma chamber below.More significant activity began on April 23, when a lava lake in another of the volcano's craters, Halema‘uma‘u, began pulsing, causing lava to spill into the surrounding crater.Its bulk extends upward about 3 miles (5 km) from the ocean bottom, then rises an additional 2.6 miles (4.2 km) to an elevation of 13,677 feet (4,169 metres) above sea level.Covering half of the island, Mauna Loa is a shield volcano that has erupted some three dozen times since its first well-documented eruption in 1843.Other highlights of the national park are Ka‘ū Desert, a region of unusual lava formations in the rain shadow of Kilauea; Mauna Loa Trail, which wends its way to that volcano’s peak from Kilauea; a tree fern forest, a dense tropical area watered by nearly 100 inches (2,500 mm) of rainfall annually; and the museum at the park headquarters.Northwest of Kilauea is Kipuka Puaulu (also called Bird Park), where a nature trail leads from a grassy meadow dotted with clumps of koa, ohia, soapberry, kolea, and mamani trees to an open forest with many varieties of native trees. Introduced wildlife species include mongooses, wild goats and pigs, and pheasant and quail.
One explosive eruption sent a plume of volcanic ash some 30,000 feet (9,140 metres) into the air.
"An eruption has commenced in the Leilani Estates subdivision in the lower East Rift Zone of Kīlauea Volcano," stated the United States Geological Survey. Lava was confirmed at the surface in the eastern end of the subdivision, in the areas of Mohala and Leilani Streets.
"White, hot vapor and blue fume emanated from an area of cracking in the eastern part of the subdivision. According to the Hawai‘i County Civil Defense update at p.m., all residents in Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens Subdivsions are required to evacuate." Then, early Friday morning, steam began pouring from those cracks in the road.
A week of small earthquakes around Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano led to a “spatter” eruption Friday morning, forcing residents to evacuate the area.
Here are the latest images, videos, and information from the island.