Volcanic eruptions are always scary and it is even scarier when the world’s largest volcano erupts. But this time, it is not causing any danger according to the US Geological Survey. Mauna Loa, the world’s largest active volcano, has erupted in forty years.
The National Weather Service in Honolulu has issued an ashfall warning for the residents of Hawaii’s Big Island.
Ashfall can be a destructive force as it can cause problems on multiple levels like contaminating water, clogging sewage, destroying vehicles, etc.
After Nearly Four Decades, Hawaii’s Mauna Loa Volcano Has Finally Erupted
It can create health problems for individuals with respiratory conditions, so they have been advised to stay indoors. People who venture outside should put on a mask and cover their eyes with glasses if possible.
The last eruption was recorded in 1984 and during the course of two centuries, it has erupted thirty-three times since 1843, when it was recorded and documented for the first time.
Mauna Loa occupies half of the Hawaiian Island and its highest crater is situated around 21 miles west of Kilauea. This crater has been erupting since 2021 and so this has become a rare occurrence where two volcanoes are erupting at the same time.
The Kilauea crater is not creating any massive eruptions as of now and this is good news. It had last erupted in a big manner some four years ago when the lava flowed towards the nearby Leilani Estates which led to the destruction of around seven hundred homes and rendered the residents homeless.
As of now, the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency hasn’t released any sort of evacuation orders as they have said that the situation is under control and is safe. The US Federal Aviation Administration is also keeping a close watch on the volcanic activity and they are updating the air traffic information accordingly.
People who are flying to Hilo International Airport and Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport, Keahole should confirm the status of their flights with the concerned airlines because of the volcanic eruption warning.
Some airlines have already issued notifications on their flights being canceled and Southwest Airlines is one among them. They have canceled their flights to and from Honolulu.
The US Geological Survey has said that as of now the volcano is channeling toward the Northeast Rift Zone but there is a risk of ashfall, volcanic gas, and strands of lava glass being carried downwind.
However, the Hawaiian observatory has warned that the Mauna Loa volcanic eruption can be very dynamic and it can change course within a very limited time. So it is necessary to closely observe the activity 24×7.
The Hawaiian Big Island is the biggest in the whole of Hawaii Island but the population in this area is less with just around 200,000 people in total and less than fifty residents per square mile.
The major part of the Hawaiian population is spread along the coastal areas and in the cities. As of now, the volcanic activity is confined inside caldera walls and that is what is holding it from going downslope.
The Hawaiian Volcanoes National Park has stopped giving permission to mountain hikers to climb the Mauna Loa Summit because of volcanic activity. As a precursor of the volcanic eruptions, massive numbers of earthquakes have been reported since June this year.
Around ten to twenty earthquakes were reported through July and August. This had gone up to around a hundred per day during September 23 and 29.
After the eruption in 1984, this has been the longest gap for another eruption. The 1984 event was a massive one with the lava flowing deep into the city of Hilo for around eight kilometers.
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