Quakes continue in lower Puna as magma moves east

  • Dots represent earthquakes within the past day. Courtesy of Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.
  • A 1-kilometer crack opened west of Puu Oo. Courtesy of Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

Magma continues to push its way down Kilauea’s East Rift Zone.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reported a high rate of earthquakes occurring overnight as seismic activity moves east towards Kapoho.

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Since midnight, there has been probably more than 100 temblors, and least one resident of Leilani Estates reported constant vibration Wednesday morning, said Janet Babb, HVO spokeswoman.

“We’ve had several reports in Leilani of numerous earthquakes” being felt, she said.

A new volcanic vent remains possible and the likeliest location would be downrift of the Pu‘u ‘O‘o cone, including east of Highway 130, according to HVO.

“I think that this is a situation where residents in lower Puna should stay vigilant and heed the advice of Hawaii County Civil Defense on how to prepare for a possible eruption,” Babb said.

HVO is placing additional instruments along the rift zone to detect ground deformation.

The intrusion follows the collapse of the Pu‘u ‘O‘o crater floor Monday.

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During an overflight Tuesday, geologists saw a 1-kilometer crack west of the cone that was heavily steaming.

Kua O Ka Lā New Century Public Charter School said it was closing due to concerns about a new eruption.

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