The most active volcano in the world, Mauna Loa in Hawaii, began to erupt on Sunday night, and by Monday morning, lava was streaming from its peak, a
The most active volcano in the world, Mauna Loa in Hawaii, began to erupt on Sunday night, and by Monday morning, lava was streaming from its peak, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Officials predicted that the lava wouldn’t pose a hazard to inhabited areas.
USGS said downslope communities will remain unaffected by lava flows and the eruption will stay in the Northeast Rift Zone.
Authorities do not anticipate the lava flow to reach the Southeast Rift Zone, where there are more people, according to Ken Hon, Scientist in Charge at the Hawaii Volcano Observatory, who spoke at a press conference on Monday afternoon.
“As far as we know, in any historic precedent, there has never been an eruption of Mauna Loa that activated both rift zones at the same time or during the same eruption,” Hon stated. This means that all volcanic activity is expected to stay in the Northeast Rift Zone and Southeast Rift Zone residents will not have to worry.
The USGS reports that Mauna Loa has erupted 33 times since 1843. The volcano last erupted in 1984, lava was pouring down its slopes and approached Hilo within 4.5 miles.
The lava flow, said Hon, is very comparable to the lava flow from the 1984 eruption and may pose a threat to residential areas around Hilo.
Hon and officials are hoping for a flow similar to 1984 where the flow got more viscous and slowed down as it hit flatter slopes which stopped it from reaching Hilo.
Though they hope that this eruption will be a large event, Hon still wishes that “ it will have relatively minor effects on the residents and visitors of the island,” and advises Hawaiian residents on Hawaii Island who are “at risk from Mauna Loa lava flows” to be safe and prepared and “refer to Hawai’i County Civil Defense information for further guidance.”
The agency also warns residents of the unpredictableness of the eruption saying that, “lava flows can change rapidly.”