COURTESY USGS HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY
A new lava fissure east of Kilauea's Puu Oo crater on the Big Island was reported yesterday. Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists sampled an active channel yesterday. CLICK FOR LARGE
Eruption flows east of Puu Oo
Eruption in the Kilauea area ends a 15-year hiatus
Lava is erupting east of Kilauea Volcano's Puu Oo crater for the first time in 15 years, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reported yesterday.
Scientists detected activity near Puu Oo Friday night, but were delayed until daybreak to view the eruption because of rain and fog from tropical depression Cosme.
The eruption is occurring along a set of fissures extending one mile eastward from Puu Oo. It is the first eruption in that area since Feb. 7, 1992.
A three-week eruption in the same area in November 1991 produced a lava flow that traveled 3.6 miles southeast toward the Royal Gardens subdivision.
The new eruption is within the Kahaualea Natural Area Reserve, the observatory said, adding that scientists will continue to monitor the situation closely.
The eruption did not force any new closures at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The volcano's east rift has been closed since June 17 because of earlier events.
A swarm of 260 small earthquakes shook the Upper East Rift Zone of the volcano last month.
Geologists said then the quakes were reducing the lava flow at Puu Oo, possibly suggesting new eruption vents were forming.
Kilauea has been erupting continuously since Jan. 3, 1983.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.