Hawaii: World’s largest active volcano erupts for first time since 1984

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The biggest volcano asset in the world, Mauna Loa, in the hawaii is erupting for the first time in nearly 40 years.

Although lava is flowing down one side of the volcano, the eruption at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is not threatening communities, the US Geological Survey said Monday.

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“All indications are that the eruption will remain in the Northeast Rift Zone,” the agency said in a statement, referring to an area where a volcano is splitting, allowing lava to flow.

“Volcanic gas and possibly fine ash and Pele hair (strands of lava glass) can be carried by the wind.”

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A “trace of less than a quarter of an inch” of ash could accumulate in parts of the island, Honolulu’s National Weather Service said.

“Passengers flying into Hilo International Airport (ITO) or Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole (KOA) should check with their airline before going to the airport due to volcanic activity on Mauna Loa,” a statement said. of the State Department of Transportation.

The US Federal Aviation Administration is “closely monitoring the volcanic eruption and will issue air traffic alerts once the size of the ash cloud is determined,” the document added.

Reports of lava erupting from the southwest part of the volcano’s caldera, or crater, have reached the Hawaii Volcano Observatory, the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency said Monday morning.

There is no indication of a threat to nearby communities and no evacuation orders have been issued, the agency tweeted. As a precaution, two shelters were opened, even with “approximately half” of recorded Mauna Loa eruptions remaining in the summit area without threatening populated areas, according to another tweet from the agency.

The ash can damage vehicles and buildings, contaminate water supplies, disrupt sewer and electrical systems and damage or kill vegetation, the weather service says, while abrasive volcanic ash can irritate the eyes and lungs.

“Persons with respiratory illnesses should remain indoors to avoid inhaling ash particles, and anyone outside should cover their mouth and nose with a mask or cloth,” the Honolulu office warned.

“Possible damage to crops and animals. Minor damage to equipment and infrastructure. Reduced visibility. A general cleaning may be required.”

The observatory has previously said that the lava flows do not threaten communities on the slopes.

At nearly 6,000 kilometers, Hawaii, or the Big Island, is the largest in the Hawaiian chain in size, yet has a population of just over 200,000 people, according to the US Census Bureau. Most of the population is in cities and communities along the coast.

“Based on past events, the early stages of a Mauna Loa eruption can be very dynamic and the location and advancement of lava flows can change rapidly,” the observatory said, adding: “If the eruption stays at Moku’āweoweo , the lava flows will likely be confined within the caldera walls.

“However, if the eruptive vents migrate outside their walls, the lava flows can move quickly down the slope.”

Red hues from the eruption lit up the predawn sky Monday, according to images captured at Kailua Bay & Pier by Matthew Liano, a Kailua-Kona resident along the west coast of the Big Island.

“The glow is unlike anything I’ve seen here living in Kona for most of my life,” Liano told CNN 🇧🇷

The eruption began at Moku’āweoweo, the summit caldera of Mauna Loa, on Sunday, according to the observatory.

Source: CNN Brasil

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