The biggest active volcano in the world is spewing lava fountains more than 100 feet high and spewing a river of molten rock in the direction of Hawaii’s Big Island’s major road.
According to the Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency’s website, the leading edge of the lava flow that is spilling out of Mauna Loa is roughly 4.5 miles distant from Saddle Road, also known as Daniel K. Inouye Highway.
At this moment, it doesn’t present a threat to any communities, according to the EPA. However, parking along the highway is not allowed between mileposts 16 and 31, and any motorists left there risk having their vehicles towed.
The US Geological Survey reported that lava was thrown up to 148 feet in the air during Mauna Loa’s eruption. One lava flow in particular was many yards thick.
Another erupting volcano in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is only 21 miles from Mauna Loa. While Kilauea, Mauna Loa’s neighbor, has been erupting since last year, Mauna Loa erupted this week for the first time in 38 years.
Although authorities have stated that there is no immediate threat to property on the ground, a number of possible health risks may remain in the air.
The geological study warned that volcanic gas, fine ash, and Pele’s Hair (strands of volcanic glass) could be delivered downwind. Additionally, state health experts have issued a vog, or volcanic smog, warning.
“Vog conditions, ash in the air, and levels of sulfur dioxide to grow and fluctuate in various locations of the state,” the Hawaii health department told residents and visitors.
The health department advised reducing outdoor activities that involve heavy breathing in children, the elderly, and people with respiratory disorders as well as limiting exposure by staying inside and locking windows and doors if vog conditions arise.
In order to direct resources and support the response to the Mauna Loa eruption, Gov. David Ige signed an emergency proclamation on Tuesday.
The National Guard for the state is also ready. According to Maj. Gen. Ken Hara, adjutant general for the state’s military department, the state Emergency Management Agency has also activated its emergency operations center.
Mauna Loa eruptions can be “very dynamic”
The largest active volcano in the world is Mauna Loa, which is located 13,681 feet above sea level.
The location and pace of lava flows can alter quickly in the early phases of a Mauna Loa rift zone eruption, according to historical events, the geological survey warned earlier this week.
A crucial climate tool used to maintain the so-called “Keeling Curve,” the authoritative measurement of atmospheric carbon dioxide and crucial scientific proof for the climate issue, has also been rendered inoperable and is difficult to access as a result of the eruption and lava flow.
Since 1958, daily observations of the carbon dioxide content at Mauna Loa have been used to create the Keeling Curve graph.
“It’s a major event. According to Ralph Keeling, a geoscientist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California in San Diego and the father of the Keeling Curve’s inventor, “This is the core record of the current knowledge of the climate problem.”
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