All activity is expected to remain in the volcano's crater.
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The Kilauea volcano in Hawaii, one of the most active volcanoes in the world, has been erupting on Wednesday with a spectacular display of lava and smoke.

Activity is confined to a crater within the closed area of Kīlauea's summit, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) confirmed Thursday morning. Hawaii's Volcanoes National Park remains open for visitors at this time.

"All signs indicate that it will stay within the crater," Ken Hon, the USGS scientist in charge of Hawaii Volcano Observatory, told the Associated Press. "We're not seeing any indications that lava is moving into the lower part of the east rift zone where people live. Currently, all the activity is within the park."

The volcano began erupting at about 3:20 p.m. local time Wednesday. In response, the USGS changed Kilauea's volcano alert level from watch to warning and upgraded its aviation color code from orange to red.

Visitors to the national park can glimpse the eruption from afar but are encouraged to maintain safety procedures — not just for the active volcano but COVID-19. Visitors should maintain a six-foot social distance, stay on marked trails, avoid closed areas and expect long waits for parking at popular vantage points.

"Viewing lava at the summit of Kīlauea is awe-inspiring," Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park Superintendent Rhonda Loh said in a statement. "We want to keep the park open for all to experience this new phase of volcanic activity, but we can only do so if visitors follow guidelines that keep everyone safe. We continue to work with USGS scientists to receive the latest volcanic updates, and remind visitors that the eruptive activity and accessibility could change at any time."

The eruption's hazardous volcanic gases present a danger, especially for people with heart or respiratory problems, infants, young children, and women who are pregnant.

Kilauea's last eruption was in May.

Live footage of the eruption is also available on the Volcanoes National Park webcams.

Cailey Rizzo is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure, currently based in Brooklyn. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or at caileyrizzo.com.