To give you an idea of what's going on. This is Pu'u O'o crater April 28th full to the brim with lava & then yesterday completely drained like someone unplugged the tub. All the lava has flowed into lava tubes to were it's reaching the surface miles away in Leilani. pic.twitter.com/BzJwNC0Fvh
— Reel News Hawaii (@reelnewshawaii) May 6, 2018
Foggy/rainy weather had limited visibility, but the skies cleared May 3. A USGS overflight revealed the crater was completely drained:
At 10:30 AM, a magnitude-5 earthquake caused more of the crater to collapse, throwing up a cloud of pink ash.
See also Mick Kalber’s May 2 flyover video.
Meanwhile, increased seismicity at the summit coincided with the summit lava lake changing from inflation to deflation— this is when it began to drop (source: HVO Volcano Watch).
On May 1st, the night after Pu’u O’o’s floor fell in, the newly-drained crater was sending up a huge plume of pink ash.*
MORE VIDEO, LINKS, INFO ON PLUME:
The floor of Pu’u O’o collapsed in stages starting at 2PM in the afternoon and evening of April 30. Poor weather, fog and clouds obscured the view, but the thermal webcam positioned on Pu’u O’o’s north rim captured it. Timelapse April 28-May 1:
This isn’t the first time it’s collapsed. Here’s a regular webcam timelapse movie of Pu’u O’o’s crater floor collapsing on March 5, 2011.
So there’s a chance the lava may return.
Pu’u O’o: What it looked like just before it collapsed. See also this USGS timelapse movie of Pu’u O’o’s crater lava lake from March 20-April 18, and a blog post with a few good flyover photos on April 29.
(Pu’u O’o is a large vent on Kilauea’s shoulder that’s been erupting since 1983. See USGS / HVO photo history of the Pu’u O’o eruption.)
Video by Bryan Lowry of Lavapix.com in 2011.
Back when Pu’u O’o was healthy, it sent lava flows south down the flanks of Kilauea to the ocean, mostly away from populated areas (although unfortunately it did take out the community of Kalapana plus the half-built Royal Gardens Subdivision). See HVO’s photo history of Pu’u O’o from 1983 to the present.