HVO lowers Kilauea alert level

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory on Monday lowered Kilauea’s volcano alert level to WATCH, and its aviation color code to ORANGE, to reflect “the less-hazardous nature of the ongoing eruption.” The volcano began erupting on Sept. 29 for the first time since May. The eruption is contained to Halema‘uma‘u crater within the volcano’s summit caldera in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

Vigorous fountaining — with bursts up to 50 to 60 meters (164 to 197 feet) — produced significant amounts of pumice, Pele’s hair, and fragments of volcanic glass that were deposited in areas downwind along the rim and beyond Halema‘uma‘u crater.

Over the past several days, a thick layer (about 89 feet) of molten lava has accumulated as a lava lake at the base of the crater, partially drowning the vents and resulting in subdued fountaining.

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