Kilauea volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island keeps triggering earthquakes and two explosions on Monday at the volcano’s summit triggered a magnitude 5.4 earthquake and sent ash into the air.
Scientists have said the volcano is not showing any signs of activity decreasing.
Another explosion on Saturday set off a magnitude 5.2 earthquake but there was no recorded damage from the tremor.
Tremors between magnitude 5 and 6 are classed as moderate earthquakes which occur every 10 to 30 years.
Earthquakes may not put pressure on volcanoes, but in the case of Kilauea the movement of magma puts pressure on the tectonic plates below.
The pressure causes the rocks around it to crack and magma seeps into the cracks, building further pressure and every time the rock cracks, it makes a small earthquake.
The earthquake on Saturday was felt as far away as Hilo – a 45 minute drive from Kilauea.
The largest recorded earthquakes was on May 4 and measured 6.9 on the Richter Scale – classed as almost severe.
In the last 30 days, there have been at least 56 quakes on the Big Island with a magnitude 4.0 or greater.
Brian Shiro, seismic network manager at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory told Hawaii News Now it take more than a magnitude 4.0 earthquake to cause serious concern about a tsunami.
He said: “Generally speaking, local tsunamis can be generated by shall near-or-off-shore earthquakes above magnitude 6.8.”
However the magnitude 6.9 earthquake last month did generate small tsunami waves.
The ash plumes sent up by the volcano vary between 10,000 and 30,000 feet above sea level.
Richard Rapoza, a spokesman for the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, said: “The summit itself is fairly stable, with continued seismic activity and a high likelihood of additional small explosions.
“The lava flow is contained with a channel flowing to the ocean with only minor outflows.”
Between 600 to 700 homes have been consumed by the lava flows from Kilauea volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island since last month.
Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports the eruption continues in the lower East Rift Zone.
Fissure 8 continues to produce a large flow which is entering the ocean at Kapoho Bay and producing a large laze plume.
Gas emissions from the fissure eruption and at the ocean entry continue to be very high.