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WATCH: Video captures wind vortex on surface of Kilauea’s growing lava lake

Published: Dec. 22, 2020 at 1:48 PM HST|Updated: Dec. 22, 2020 at 1:55 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The ongoing eruption at Halemaumau Crater has been an incredible sight, prompting thousands of spectators to flock to Kilauea’s summit for a chance to see the fiery show.

But for the best images of the eruption, you don’t even have to leave your house.

The US Geological Survey has released incredible new video of the eruption that shows lava fountains cascading into a growing lava lake in the crater and a wind vortex on the lake’s surface.

That vortex was so strong it ripped up pieces of the lava lake’s crust.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said the video was captured early Tuesday by researchers maintaining a 24-hour watch of the eruption from the crater’s rim.

That’s where they’re taking measurements and making visual observations.

The eruption at Kilauea started Sunday night, sending plumes of smoke into the sky as lava quickly evaporated a water lake in Halemaumau Crater and then started forming a lava lake in its place.

That lake of lava now covers a 33-acre area.

Authorities say the eruption is still going strong but has “stabilized,” posing no immediate threat to the public.

One growing concern: The threat of vog or ash drifting into communities downwind of the crater.

On Tuesday, the state Health Department said there is a chance of increased vog and sulfur dioxide levels as the eruption continues and urged those with respiratory problems to prepare.

Those sensitive to vog should consider reducing outdoor activities and seek medical care if issues arise.

This story will be updated.

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