Authorities note that while there is no current danger to nearby residents on the Big Island of Hawaii, the situation will be monitored for further escalation.
The US Geological Survey’s Hawaii Volcano Observatory had raised its watch alert level earlier in the day after it recorded a spike in seismic readings.
“Increased seismic activity and changes in soil deformation patterns at the summit of the Kilauea began to occur at approximately noon on September 29, 2021, indicating a movement of magma underground,” said the USGS .
The agency said it detected a glow inside the crater at the top of Kilauea with the observatory’s webcams around 3:20 p.m. local time, indicating that an eruption had started.
David Phillips, the deputy scientist in charge of the observatory, told CNN that evidence of change had been noticed at the site the night before.
“Right after midnight, we started to have an increase in seismic activity and seismic swarms,” he said.
The eruption is completely within the park’s boundaries. There is no current threat to life or infrastructure, Phillips said, but the eruption could last for months.