KAILUA-KONA — A magnitude-5.0 earthquake Thursday morning south of Pu‘u ‘O‘o caused rockfalls and possibly an additional collapse of the crater on Kilauea Volcano’s East Rift Zone.
A short-lived plume of ash was sent skyward by the event, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said. The ash was dissipating as it headed southwest from Pu‘u ‘O‘o, however, the observatory cautioned people downwind that they may experience a dusting of ash.
The 10:30 a.m. temblor did not appear to cause any other changes at the volcano. HVO is continuing to monitor the situation for any changes.
Due to the possibility of a new eruption and unstable geologic activity, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park management closed 15,688 acres near Kilauea Volcano’s Pu‘u ‘O‘o vent to the ocean on Tuesday, including the gravel emergency access road from the eastern gate near Kalapana, to the western gate at the end of Chain of Craters Road, and all land on the makai side of the emergency road.