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Hawaii’s Mauna Loa Volcano Explodes For The First Time Since 1984

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Hawaii's Mauna Loa Volcano Explodes For The First Time Since 1984

(CTN NEWS0 – Authorities said Monday that the world’s largest active volcano, Hawaii’s Mauna Loa, has begun to erupt, causing volcanic ash and debris to fall nearby.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the eruption started late Sunday night in the Big Island volcano’s summit caldera.

It claimed early Monday that lava flows were restricted in the summit area and posed no threat to adjacent settlements.

Although there are no official evacuation orders, the agency advised people in danger from the Mauna Loa lava flows to review their preparedness.

Due to a recent increase in tremors at the volcano’s top, which last erupted in 1984, scientists have been on high alert.

Scientists will have to wait to see if this eruption continues to be a summit-only eruption or shifts to a rift zone eruption.

 

According to officials, there is currently no evidence that the eruption is moving into a rift zone. It is simpler for magma to emerge in rift zones, where the mountain ruptures and the rock is broken and porous.

Mayor of the Big Island Mitch Roth stated, “At this point, it’s not a time to be frightened.”

Some Decide To Depart From Their Homes.

According to Ken Hon, the scientist in charge at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, the usual Mauna Loa eruption lasts only a few weeks.

Hon explained, “Mauna Loa eruptions often begin with the largest volume first. It begins to slow down a little bit after a few days.”

Hawaii's Mauna Loa Volcano Explodes For The First Time Since 1984

Lava oozes from a fissure near Fagradalsfjall volcano, Reykjavik, Iceland, in this screen grab from a video taken on August 3, 2022. Ernir Snaer

According to certain images sent to the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, the caldera’s southern end may have spilled, resulting in lava flows that extend a few kilometers from the caldera, according to Hon.

Lava has overrun the caldera during several prior eruptions but has never come very close to occupied regions.

Hon added, “We are looking at signs to determine if this will be an eruption that remains inside the summit of Mauna Loa or continues down one of the divergent boundaries either towards the west or to the southeast.”

“We don’t want to try to predict the volcano,” he continued. “We must wait till it does what it says it will do before telling anyone about what is happening.”

The civil defense service said it had built shelters in Kailua-Kona and Pahala because of reports of individuals self-evacuating along the South Kona coast, even though it stated there is no trace of lava departing the summit.

Hawaii's Mauna Loa Volcano Explodes For The First Time Since 1984

Lava is seen at Mauna Loa’s summit region during an eruption as viewed by a remote camera of the U.S. Geological Survey in Hawaii. (USGS/Reuters)

The Ashfall Warning Is In Effect

An ashfall warning was issued for parts of the Big Island by the National Weather Service in Honolulu, which stated that up to a quarter-inch (0.6 centimeters) of ash could build in some regions.

“The location and pace of lava flows can vary quickly during the early phases of a Mauna Loa eruption, according to historical experiences,” the USGS warned.

Hawaii's Mauna Loa Volcano Explodes For The First Time Since 1984

The Mauna Loa volcano on the island of Hawaii is shown in a March 25, 1984, handout photo provided by the U.S. Geological Survey, released to Reuters in 2014. Scientists had been alert for new activity because of a recent earthquake spike at the volcano’s summit. (U.S. Geological Survey/Reuters)

The Big Island of Hawaii is the southernmost island in the Hawaiian archipelago, and Mauna Loa is one of the five volcanoes that make up the island.

Mauna Loa is Kilauea’s considerably larger neighbor, with a height of 4,169 meters above sea level. In 2018, Kilauea erupted in a neighborhood, destroying 700 homes.

Hawaii's Mauna Loa Volcano Explodes For The First Time Since 1984

Hawaii’s Mauna Loa Volcano Explodes For The First Time Since 1984

Its lava can flow significantly more quickly during eruptions because some slopes are steeper than Kilauea’s.

The lava from the mountain’s 1950 eruption traveled 24 kilometers to the ocean in less than three hours. Lava flowed within eight kilometers of the city of Hilo during the 1984 eruption.

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