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Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano Finally Stops Erupting After Spewing 11 Billion Gallons Of Lava

by : Hannah Smith on : 27 May 2021 15:32
Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano Finally Stops Erupting After Spewing 11 Billion Gallons Of LavaAdrian Glover/Wikimedia/Brian Snelson/Flickr

Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano has stopped erupting, almost six months after it first began spewing lava.

The US Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said that the volcano, which has been erupting at its summit crater since December, had ‘paused’ producing new lava as of Wednesday, May 26.

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Kilauea is one of the most active volcanos in the world, with this most recent eruption lasting for 157 days and producing more than 11 billion gallons of lava, creating an entirely new lava lake at the summit in the process.

Lava and ash from the summit of Kilauea (USGS/PA Images)USGS/PA Images

The masses of solidifying lava have reportedly added a massive 229 meters to the volcano’s summit crater, known as Halemaʻumaʻu, per TIME.

While confirming that no lava has been produced in the past two days, the USGS added it was possible activity at Kilauea could resume in the coming weeks and months, or the volcano could enter a phase of ‘quiescence’ – a period where seismological activity is detected but no active eruptions occur. In a statement, the Survey said there were ‘currently no indications suggesting that a resumption of volcanic activity is imminent’.

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Kilauea, which is located in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, is the largest of the five volcanoes that make up Hawaii – also known as Big Island – the largest island and second most populous in the state of Hawaii.

The recent activity, which began December 21, is the first since the volcano recorded its biggest eruption on record in 2018, causing a 6.9 magnitude earthquake – the largest on the island since the 1980s – and spewing lava for four months. During that eruption, streams of lava flowed across roads and towards populated areas, resulting in mass evacuations and the destruction of more than 700 homes, according to the New York Times.

Kilauea volcano has stopped erupting (USGS/PA Images)USGS/PA Images

With large eruptions a fact of life for Hawaiians living on Big Island, daily life has continued much the same as usual for residents through this latest activity, although some restrictions have been in place for flights in the area.

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Following the end of the eruption this week, the USGS said it would lower its Volcano Alert Level from ‘watch’ to ‘advisory’, and would also lower its aviation hazard warning from orange to yellow.

The Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has remained open to visitors throughout the latest eruption, with visitors to the park over the past six months flocking to see the glowing lava lake formed in the summit crater. Most restrictions currently in place in the park are due to the pandemic, rather than the threat of molten lava.

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  1. TIME

    Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano Finally Stops Erupting After 157 Days and 11 Billion Gallons of Lava