The United States Geological Survey announced the Kilauea volcano’s Halemaumau crater has started to erupt on Hawaii’s Big Island.
According to The Associated Press, Hawaii Volcano Observatory director Ken Hon said the eruption is not in an area with homes and is entirely contained within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
Happening now: a new eruption of Kilauea inside Halema’uma’u!
See live webcams inside Halema’uma’u, courtesy of USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory: https://t.co/Yf1Kc3RQ7J
Photo courtesy of USGS pic.twitter.com/BUKfCCmI5J
— Hawaii Volcanoes NPS (@Volcanoes_NPS) September 30, 2021
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park spokesperson Jessica Ferracane said officials could see “lava spatter and glow within the summit crater” at the Volcano House hotel and restaurant, located around two miles from the eruption site.
Ferracane told The AP that the Volcano House and adjacent visitor center remain open to travelers arriving at the national park. Officials said the eruption area was not close to where people can hike or drive, and trails downwind have been closed for years.
“The park is open and there are no road closures at this time,” Ferracane said.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is expecting tens of thousands of travelers to visit the property for a chance to catch a glimpse of the eruption, but Ferracane said guests need to be aware of the natural hazards and COVID-19.
The park still mandates masks in public areas and social distancing.
“This eruption is going to draw many people to the park, we’re already seeing people come into the park, drive in after dark tonight,” Ferracane continued. “Really need people to remember that we are in the middle of a pandemic and they need to stay safe and to keep us safe, too.”