The world’s largest active volcano, Mauna Loa is erupting on Hawaii’s Big Island for the first time since 1948.
Mauna Loa is the largest active volcano on Earth, it just started erupting. Here's the caldera filling up with lava in the last 2 hours (last frame from 14min ago). Take care my friends on Big Island!
Images used to make this gif from: https://t.co/dIK3AnLiYX https://t.co/uUVkIIBrlC pic.twitter.com/ZfvVi5O7Oi
— Dr James O'Donoghue (@physicsJ) November 28, 2022
The eruption, which began Sunday at around 11:30 pm local time, has prompted a lava flow and ash fall advisory for the Big Island from the US Geographical Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (USGS/HVO).
The state’s Chabad House and network of Jewish centers is in Honolulu, on the windward (west) coast of the Big Island, in Kailua-Kona town, south of the Kona airport.
Satellite imagery from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) GOES-West satellite showed the development of the volcano’s eruption, including the plume of gas and ash spewing from the summit, about 13,000 feet above sea level.
The elevation doesn't make that much of a difference. The real hazards are related to eruption rates – Mauna Loa tends to erupt at higher rates than Kilauea – and the reach of the rift zones, which can send flows into populated areas.
— USGS Volcanoes? (@USGSVolcanoes) November 28, 2022
Lava at the summit can now be seen from the town of Kona, just 30 miles away, the volcano alert level is at “WARNING” and the current aviation color code is RED, according to the USGS.
“The eruption of Mauna Loa has migrated from the summit to the Northeast Rift Zone where fissures are feeding several lava flows. HVO staff on an overflight at approximately 6:30 am HST confirmed fissures at high elevations within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park are feeding lava flows upslope of the Mauna Loa Weather Observatory.
“Lava flows are not threatening any downslope communities and all indications are that the eruption will remain in the Northeast Rift Zone. Volcanic gas and possibly fine ash and Pele’s Hair may be carried downwind.
“Residents at risk from Mauno Loa lava flows should review preparedness and refer to Hawaii County Civil Defense information for further guidance,” the USGS said on its website.
Nearby Kīlauea, the state’s youngest volcano, is also currently on a “watch” status. Mauna Loa and Kīlauea are the two most active volcanoes on the Big Island and have overlapping eruption histories, with their summit craters only about 34 kilometers (21 miles) apart. In fact, part of Kīlauea is built on the southeast flank of Mauna Loa, which is the older of the two volcanoes.
Kīlauea volcano began erupting on September 29, 2021 and continues to erupt from a single vent in the western wall of Halemaʻumaʻu crater.
“All lava activity is confined within Halemaʻumaʻu crater in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Seismicity and volcanic gas emission rates remain elevated,” the USGS said on its website.