An eruption in the E Rift Zone of Kilauea Volcano began at 0031 on 3 January. The outbreak began at Napau Crater, 14 km SE of the caldera rim. Fountaining and production of SE-moving lava flows of local extent continued until about 1000 and progressively extended the system of linear discontinuous vents downrift to the NE, for a distance of about 4 km. Following 2½ hours of quiescence, the eruption resumed at 1425 along a 100-m-long fissure at the NE (downrift) end of the vent system. This eruption lasted nearly an hour. An estimated 3—4×106 m3 of lava was extruded during this initial 10½ hours of eruption.
The volcano remained quiet for nearly 2 days. At 1123 on 5 January the eruption resumed in the area active late 3 January. Here a vent system about 1 km long erupted energetically but intermittently through the predawn hours of 9 January. Ten episodes of vigorous lava production occurred. They ranged in duration from 2 min to 18¾ hours. The volume erupted from these vents cannot be measured because most of the erupted lava poured into a gaping crack that developed a few hundred m to the SE, at the N boundary of a prominent older graben.