DH Latest NewsDH NEWSUSLatest NewsNEWSNature & WildlifeInternationalTourismSpecial

Huge Mauna Loa volcano rumbles; Hawaii’s Big Island gets warning!

Big Island residents are being warned by Hawaiian authorities that Mauna Loa, the largest active volcano in the world, is giving signals that it may explode. A recent increase in earthquakes near the volcano’s peak has scientists on high alert, despite their claims that an eruption is not imminent. For homes on Mauna Loa nearest to vents, experts estimate that it would only take a few hours for lava to reach them. To help locals get ready, Hawaii’s civil defence organisation is organising briefings all around the island.

Hawaii County official: ‘There’s a potential for some kind of lava disaster’ on the slopes of Mauna Loa. The volcano makes up 51% of the Hawaii Island landmass, so a large portion of the island could be affected by an eruption. There’s been a surge of development on the Big Island in recent decades. Many newer residents weren’t around when the volcano last erupted 38 years ago.

Since the middle of last month, there has been ‘heightened unrest’ in Mauna Loa. Its lava can flow significantly more quickly during eruptions because some of its slopes are substantially steeper than Kilauea’s. The mountain’s lava travelled 15 miles (24 kilometres) to the ocean in less than three hours during an eruption in 1950.

Scientists think that more magma is entering the summit reservoir system of Mauna Loa. County civil defence officials sponsored a community meeting last weekend, and more than 220 individuals showed up. It’s wise to be aware of a potential eruption, but not to dread it, according to a resident of Ocean View. If the single route connecting it to the larger cities is destroyed by lava, the region could become cut off.

The current alert status for the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory is ‘advisory’. There is no evidence that an eruption is imminent or guaranteed. It might take days or weeks for lava from Mauna Loa’s northeast flank to reach populated areas. Other island residents would have more time to retaliate. Towns are further away from volcanic vents on that side of the mountain where the slopes are more gradual.

Since 1843, Mauna Loa has erupted 33 times. The Big Island’s most populated town, Hilo, was 4.5 miles (7.2 kilometres) away from the latest eruption, which occurred in 1984. The 23-day long 1950 eruption produced 1,000 cubic metres (1,307 cubic yards) of lava each second.

A long period of increasing seismic activity could pass before any eruption, as it did for the eruptions in 1975 and 1984, which occurred a year and a half apart. Another possibility is that the earthquakes stop and Mauna Loa won’t explode this time. Residents can use the maps provided by Trusdell’s organisation to find out how quickly lava might appear in their area.




Post Your Comments

Back to top button