Eruption Questions: Did they know this was going to happen?

There are a lot of questions about the current eruption in lower Puna, and the experts at USGS are trying to answer them.

Here's one of the most common inquiries: Did they know this eruption was going to happen?
The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory did issue notices on April 17th and May 1st; saying an East Rift Zone eruption was possible. The first fissure broke ground on May 3rd.

Scientists track earthquakes at volcanoes because that's one way that lets them know something could happen. Magma either breaks rock to move through the earth's crust or flows through existing cracks. If it breaks or shifts rocks that creates earthquakes; and that's how scientists were able to track how the magma from Kilauea was moving.
Here's something else you may not have known - this is actually NOT a new eruption. This is technically part of the ongoing Kilauea East Rift Zone eruption, which began in 1983.

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