The US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory is raising the volcano alert level/aviation color code for Kīlauea from Advisory/Yellow to Watch/Orange due to earthquake activity in Kīlauea’s south caldera region.
Although Kīlauea volcano is not currently erupting, an increase in seismic activity has been detected beneath the south part of Kīlauea caldera, within Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park.
The earthquake swarm began around 4:30 p.m., HST, on the evening of August 23, 2021 and continued into the early morning hours of August 24 with a particularly strong sequence of earthquakes that occurred at about 1:30 a.m., HST.
Over 140 earthquakes have been recorded as of 4:30 a.m. on August 24. The largest recorded earthquake was M3.3 with the majority of earthquakes less than M1. Small earthquakes are continuing at a rate of at least 10 detected earthquakes per hour.
The onset of the earthquake swarm was coincident with a change in the style of ground deformation at tiltmeters in the Kīlauea summit region, potentially indicating the shallow intrusion of magma occurring 1–2 km (0.6–1.2 miles) beneath the south caldera.
Consequently, the US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory is raising the volcano alert level/aviation color code for Kīlauea from Advisory/Yellow to Watch/Orange due to this activity.
Currently, webcams and satellite imagery show no evidence of lava at the surface. HVO scientists will continue the monitor the situation and will issue additional messages and alert level changes as warranted by changing activity. [HVO]
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