▶ Watch Video: Hawaii’s Kīlauea erupting

A volcano erupted in Hawaii early Monday morning, the U.S. Geological Survey said. The agency’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory issued a warning that the Kilauea volcano eruption on the Big Island could shoot volcanic ash into the atmosphere.

The observatory said Monday’s activity was limited to the area around the volcano’s summit. According to the agency, the eruption started around 12:30 a.m. within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, likely about a mile south of Kilauea’s caldera, the term for the large bowl-shaped depressions that form on volcanoes.

A glow seen in webcam images indicated lava was erupting from fissures in the area, the observatory said.

Eruptions release high amounts of volcanic gas, which includes sulfur dioxide. The gas reacts with the atmosphere to create volcanic smog, known as vog, which can cause airborne health hazards for people and damage plants, according to the observatory.

The last eruption on Kilauea was in September 2023 and lasted for a week, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. There hasn’t been an eruption in the area of Monday’s activity in nearly 50 years. The December 1974 eruption lasted about six hours, the observatory said. It wasn’t immediately possible for the agency to say how long Monday’s eruption would last.

The eruption was preceded by an increase in seismic activity at Kilauea’s summit Sunday, an indication that magma was moving below the surface, according to the observatory.

In one eight-hour period, there were approximately 250 earthquakes beneath Kilauea’s summit region, according to the observatory. The most powerful quake was magnitude 4.1 on Sunday night.

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