An eruption has commenced in the Leilani Estates subdivision in the lower East Rift Zone of Kilauea Volcano.
Shortly before 5 pm, lava was confirmed at the surface in the eastern end of the subdivision. Hawai`i County Civil Defense is on scene and coordinating needed response including evacuation of the area.
According to Hawaiian Volcano Observatory new ground cracks were reported in Leilani Estates late Thursday afternoon. White, hot vapor and blue fume emanated from an area of cracking in the eastern part of the subdivision. Spatter began erupting shortly before 5 pm.
HVO and the County of Hawaii are on the ground and conducting overflights to further identify characterize activity and identify the direction of flowing lava.
Areas downslope of the erupting vent are at risk of lava inundation. At this time, the general area of the Leilani subdivision appears at greatest risk, according to HVO.
The opening phases of fissure eruptions are dynamic. Additional vents and new lava outbreaks may occur and at this time it is not possible to say where new vents may occur.
The county has reportedly began emergency sirens in the Leilani area as they evacuate all residents of the area. In addition, Governor David Ige says he has called in the United States Army National Guard for assistance.
Photo: Still image taken from drone footage by Jeremiah Osuna.