Hawaii (AP) — The most active volcano in the world, Mauna Loa in Hawaii, is erupting for the first time in nearly 40 years, sending lava 100 to 200 feet (30 to 60 meters) into the air. No villages or residences are currently in danger from the lava, and there are no evacuation orders in effect.
As lava moves downward, it may eventually reach neighborhoods, though it might take a week or more for molten rock to get there. Sulfur dioxide and other volcanic gases are being released by Mauna Loa.
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When they combine with vapor, oxygen, and dust in the sunshine, they produce volcanic smog or vog. State health experts are advising people to limit outdoor exercise and other activities that make individuals breathe heavily as a result. In 1984, Mauna Loa last erupted. Since September 2021, the Kilauea volcano, which is its smaller but more active neighbor, has been erupting continually.
Kīlauea and Mauna Loa erupt together. Photo from Kūpinaʻi Pali at 6:06 a.m. Monday in the park.
The park is open, but some closures are in place: https://t.co/uGEAjyqjH3
NPS Photo/J.Ibasan pic.twitter.com/fZ6bShiiZt
— Hawaii Volcanoes NPS (@Volcanoes_NPS) November 28, 2022
WHERE IS MAUNA LOA?
The Big Island of Hawaii, which is the southernmost island in the Hawaiian archipelago, is made up of five volcanoes, including Mauna Loa. Although Mauna Kea has the record for being the tallest, it is the largest and accounts for nearly half of the island’s land area.
It is located directly north of the Kilauea volcano, which gained notoriety in 2018 for an eruption that resulted in the destruction of 700 homes and the spread of lava rivers across fields and into the ocean.
— NOAA Satellites (@NOAASatellites) November 28, 2022
It’s been 38 years since Mauna Loa last erupted. Since the beginning of written history in 1843, there have been 34 eruptions. A few minor cities, including the county seat of Hilo, which has a population of 45,000, may be found on the Big Island, which is primarily agricultural and home to cattle ranches and coffee fields.
The state capital Honolulu and the beach resort Waikiki are both situated around 200 miles (320 kilometers) south of Hawaii’s most populous island, Oahu. When measured from the ocean floor to its summit, Mauna Loa has a volume of at least 18,000 square miles (75,000 square kilometers), making it the largest volcano in the world.
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WHERE IS MAUNA LOA ERUPTING FROM?
After many powerful earthquakes, the eruption started on Sunday night at the top. Then it expanded to vents that developed in a rift zone, where the mountain is fracturing and magma may more easily emerge. These vents are on the northeast side of the mountain, and lava that emerges there could travel toward Hilo, which lies on the island’s east side.