Mauna Loa, the largest active volcano in the world, is located in Hawaii. The volcano started an eruption on Sunday at 11:30 pm HST. The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency stated, “No communities downslope from the caldera are immediately threatened, and about half of all recorded Mauna Loa eruptions have been confined to the summit area.”
Although there is no immediate danger, the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency has told people with respiratory issues to stay indoors or wear a mask and clothes due to ash from the eruption building up. A quarter inch of ashfall is said to be possible. The National Weather Service issued an Ashfall Advisory, being in effect through Monday, 6 am HST. According to AP News, three separate fissures are shooting lava 100 – 200 feet in the air. The fissures were estimated to be one to two miles long.
As a precaution, shelters have been opened in Kailua-Kona and Pahala. The volcano has also been closed to the public. Although no evacuations have been issued, the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency is urging people in the area to stay informed and prepare in case of any danger. Seismic activity had also increased from the mountain since September. Bobby Camara has seen three Mauna Loa eruptions in his life on the island, and he stated, “I think everybody should be a little bit concerned. We don’t know where the flow is going, we don’t know how long it’s going to last.” Luckily for the many people on the island relying on tourism for money, travel plans should not have to change.
Mauna Loa last erupted 38 years ago in 1984, when the volcano erupted, it lasted 28 days. The Mauna Loa rises 13,679 feet above sea level. It has steep slopes, allowing the lava to flow faster than its smaller neighbor volcano, Kilauea, which erupted and destroyed 700 homes in 2018. The population in 1980 has more than doubled, meaning that for many residents this will be a new experience.