Hawaii: Footage shows Kilauea volcano erupting again

One of the world's most active volcanoes has erupted again in Hawaii, nearly one month after it stopped releasing lava, scientists say.

Glowing lava was observed inside Hawaii's Kilauea volcano on Thursday, the US Geological Survey said.

Webcam images show lava flow within the Halemaʻumaʻu crater in the volcano's summit caldera.

Officials say the eruption currently poses no direct threat to nearby communities.

It is the first sign of activity inside the volcano since both Kilauea and its larger neighbour Mauna Loa stopped erupting in December.

The USGS said lava from Kilauea was flooding much of the Halema'uma'u crater at the volcano's summit, while clouding the skies with volcanic smog.

A rising lava lake is seen within Halema'uma'u crater during the eruption of Kilauea volcano in Hawaii, on 5 January
A rising lava lake is seen within Halema'uma'u crater during the eruption of Kilauea volcano in Hawaii, on 5 January

The summit is inside Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on Hawaii's Big Island, located away from residents. The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency said on Thursday that the eruption will not threaten nearby communities.

But high levels of volcanic gas are the primary hazard of concern, as this can have far-reaching effects downwind.

"Strong winds may waft lighter particles to greater distances," officials said. "Residents should minimise exposure to these volcanic particles."

Kilauea's last eruption began in September 2021 and lasted 16 months. Footage from that eruption shows the volcano was spewing lava fountains that were up to 100 feet tall surrounded by thick plumes of smoke.

Its larger neighbour, Mauna Loa, then began erupting on 27 November after a pause of 38 years, marking the first time in decades that two volcanoes were erupting in Hawaii side-by-side.

Both Kilauea and Mauna Loa stopped erupting at the same time on 14 December, though the Hawaii Volcano Observatory continued to closely monitor them for signs of renewed activity.