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Kilauea’s alert level raised to orange after swarm of small quakes detected

USGS scientists have raised the alert level of Kilauea volcano to orange following a swarm of small earthquakes that started Monday afternoon and is continuing.
Published: Aug. 24, 2021 at 7:06 AM HST|Updated: Aug. 24, 2021 at 2:13 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - USGS scientists have raised the alert level of Kilauea volcano to orange following a swarm of small earthquakes that started Monday afternoon and is continuing.

Officials said while the volcano is not erupting, the quakes and evidence of ground deformation signal that magma is moving toward the surface.

“The raise to orange here means that we’ve detected magma moving up close to the surface and there is a potential threat of an eruption,” said Ken Hon, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientist-in-charge.

“While this eruption we don’t believe is imminent, those things can turn around quite rapidly so we wanted to make sure everybody was aware of this movement of magma towards the surface.”

USGS said its started an increase in earthquake activity about 4:30 p.m. Monday at the summit of Kilauea in the southern part of the caldera.

From 4:30 a.m. Tuesday to mid-morning, more than 140 small temblors were detected.

Officials said small earthquakes are continuing at a rate of at least 10 detected quakes per hour.

Hon said Hawaii Volcanoes National Park personnel have been alerted and are taking necessary precautions.

This story will be updated.

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