HONOLULU– Hawaii’s Mauna Loa, the world’s largest active volcano, has begun to erupt, causing volcanic ash and debris to fall nearby, authorities said Monday.
The eruption began late Sunday night in the volcano’s summit caldera on the Big Island, the US Geological Survey said. Early Monday, it said lava flows were contained within the summit area and do not threaten surrounding communities.
“However, lava flows in the summit region are visible from Kona. There is currently no evidence that the eruption has migrated into a rift zone,” the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said in a statement. A rift zone is where the mountain breaks apart, the rock is fractured and relatively weak, and magma can escape more easily.
The USGS warned residents at risk from Mauna Loa’s lava flows to review their eruption preparations. Scientists have been on alert for a recent earthquake spike at the volcano’s summit, which last erupted in 1984.
Parts of the Big Island were under an ash fall warning issued by the National Weather Service in Honolulu, which said ash could accumulate as much as 0.6 centimeters in some areas.
Mauna Loa is one of five volcanoes that together make up the Big Island of Hawaii, which is the southernmost island in the Hawaiian archipelago.
Rising 4,169 meters above sea level, Mauna Loa is the much larger neighbor of Kilauea Volcano, which erupted in a residential area in 2018 and destroyed 700 homes. Some of its slopes are much steeper than those of Kilauea. its lava can flow much faster.
During an eruption in 1950, the mountain’s lava traveled 15 miles (24 kilometers) to the ocean in less than three hours.
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https://6abc.com/hawaii-volcano-mauna-loa-eruption/12502979/ Hawaii’s Mauna Loa, world’s largest active volcano, starts to erupt, sending volcanic ash and debris nearby