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Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano under Watch

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The Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii is listed by the US Geological Survey (USGS) as being at a “Watch” alert level. The current (10 December) activation code is Orange. This morning’s report mentions eruptions at two locations. However, there are no significant changes, according to the USGS.

Next month, January 2014, is Hawaii Island's 5th annual "Volcano Awareness Month" but Kilauea is making noise now. The summit tiltmeter has measured a slight deflation, followed by DI inflation yesterday. DI is defined as deflation-inflation; it is used to describe a geophysical event of uncertain volcanic significance. That means, it dropped and then inflated. The lava-lake level also fluctuated. In the past day, 21 earthquakes were strong enough to be located under the Kilauea Volcano.

Under Watch:

The Watch, issued by the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, can be read here. Like storms and other natural disasters, there are different alert levels. The lowest is naturally Normal. Advisory is the second level. It generally means that the volcano is showing signs of elevated unrest. A Watch – the current level – means the volcano is showing greater signs of a potential eruption or that it is erupting but has limited hazards. A Warning, like with tornadoes, means the threat is imminent. The colors coincide with the alert level.

Hawaii Volcano National Park

Hawaii is home to the most active volcano. This National Park recognizes that, although potentially deadly, these volcanoes also give life. Park rangers are on site to assist visitors in regards to where to go to safely see the lava. Over two million visitors come to the Park each year, with Christmas time being one of the busier periods. The Park does close off areas directly near the vents, as not only eruptions, but also the fumes can be dangerous.

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