Lava closes part of national park as Kilauea crater collapses
Kilauea's Puu Oo crater collapsed more than 250 feet Wednesday.
August 5th, 2011
12:38 PM ET

Lava closes part of national park as Kilauea crater collapses

The lava-filled crater in Hawaii's Kilauea volcano collapsed more than 250 feet Wednesday, according to the Hawaii Volcano Observatory.

The Puu Oo crater, which holds a lake of lava inside the cone at Kilauea's summit, last collapsed in March. Wednesday's collapse created a lava flow that split into two directions and closed a portion of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. It did not affect any areas outside the park's boundaries.

Click here to see a collection of footage, photos and time-lapse video of the lava-spewing crater

According to an update from the Hawaii Volcano Observatory on Thursday night, "The crater rim remained extremely unstable, with continued collapses along the crater walls sending blocks of rock onto the crater floor."

Kilauea has been erupting continually since 1983. Hawaii's volcanoes erupt effusively, meaning runny lava bubbles up and flows out, as opposed to building up pressure and exploding violently.

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Filed under: Hawaii • Nature • U.S. • Volcanoes
soundoff (93 Responses)
  1. J

    Article mis-statements:
    As someone else mentioned, the Pu`u `O`o crater is not at the "summit" of Kilauea (actually Kilauea Caldera), but several miles away in the eastern? rift zone. There is an active vent in the caldera, but nothing has changed there.
    There are no lava flows outside of the Pu`u `O`o area. They closed Chain Of Craters road (not the entire park) as a precaution because of volcanic gasses. All CNN had to do was check the Park Service website, and/or the Hawaii Volcano Observatory site, to get the story correct.
    From the misleading headline, I would have assumed that the Kilauea caldera had collapsed. That would have been huge news.

    August 5, 2011 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
  2. donnamarinchekmarn01

    Those Volcano's just Love me!!

    August 6, 2011 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  3. Armand Vervaeck

    If you really want to watch the sequence of the collapsing crater floor, take a look at the video we have in our article at :
    Armand –

    August 6, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Devilnoch

    In '75, I had to opportunity to walk across Kilauea Caldera. I was only 8 years old so the only thing that mattered to me was how incredible the experience was. My family was stationed in Hawaii at the time. My memories and experiences from that time are the best from my childhood. I know this may not be important to many but the profound power and beauty of the islands will stay with me forever. I can't wait for the day when I can go back. There's something about Hawaii that has become a part of my soul.

    August 7, 2011 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
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