Kilauea volcano alert levels lowered as seismic activity drops

Feb. 3—The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory this morning lowered the alert levels for Kilauea volcano after earthquakes and ground deformation near the summit "decreased significantly."

HVO scientists lowered the volcano alert level for ground-based hazards to "advisory" from "watch," and the aviation color-coded alert level to yellow from orange today.

They had raised the alert levels on Wednesday morning after a sharp increase in small earthquakes and other indications that magma was moving near the summit caldera, and they said an eruption could occur at any time.

But today HVO said, "Earthquake and ground deformation rates extending from Kilauea summit southwest along the Koa'e fault system have decreased significantly over the past 24 hours. The intrusion of magma into this area appears to have slowed, and the likelihood of an eruption has decreased."

Scientists said over 3,000 earthquakes were recorded in the past week "which coincided with ground deformation patterns indicative of magma moving from beneath the summit to the southwest under the Koa'e fault system."