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Earthquake Followed By A Huge Volcanic Eruption In Hawaii’s Big Island

Earthquake Hauwaii

The Kilauea Volcano, a giant volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island, erupted late Sunday, and authorities and experts have sent warnings about possible harmful emissions into the atmosphere from all the volcanic ash. 

During its previous eruption in 2018, the Kilauea spewed volcanic lava for four whole months, molten lava enough to fill 320,000 Olympic pools, destroying around 700 homes and surrounding properties. 

The eruption began late on Sunday in the Halema’uma’u crater, according to the US Geological Survey. Kilauea is in the Hawaii Volcanoes national park. 

Photos posted by the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park show giant clouds of red smoke rising into the sky. 

Just around an hour before the eruption, a USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said in a statement it had recorded a magnitude-4.4 earthquake located beneath Kīlauea Volcano's south flank on Sunday. The statement also said The earthquake was centred about 14 km (8.7 miles) south of Fern Forest, near the Hōlei Pali area of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park at a depth of 6 km (4 miles).

The Hawaii County Civil Defence Agency (COH), warned its citizens to remain alert and stay indoors as much as possible. In a tweet, the COH said, "Trade winds will push any embedded ash toward the Southwest. Fallout is likely in the Kau District in Wood Valley, Pahala, Naalehu and Ocean View. Stay indoors,"

Kilauea, which is a very popular tourist attraction in Hawaii, is one of the most active volcanoes and has been erupting regularly since the 1950s. 

In 2014 a state of emergency was declared in Big Island, after red-hot lava from Kilauea ignited a house and threatened the entire town of Pahoa on the eastern tip of the island.

The island is currently under a red warning, which usually means eruption is imminent with significant emission of volcanic ash likely, or that an eruption is underway.