Activity on Hawaii volcano could indicate new eruption

Fire and steam erupting from Kilauea Crater (Pu'u O'o crater), Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Big Island of Hawaii

HONOLULU — A series of earthquakes and the collapse of the crater floor at the Puu Oo vent on Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano could trigger a new eruption of lava.

Officials from the U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said Tuesday that activity over the past 24 hours could lead to a new breakout on the east side of the Big Island volcano.

USGS geologist Janet Babb says similar activity has been recorded prior to previous eruptions in the area.

The Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency sent out an alert Tuesday morning warning residents in the area to monitor the situation and be prepared for the possibility of a new lava flow.

Babb says the activity has slowed since a spike on Monday afternoon and overnight, but the threat level has not changed.