Hawaii’s Mauna Loa: World’s largest active volcano erupts for first time in nearly 40 years

Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii had last erupted in March and April of 1984 and had sent a flow of lava within 5 miles (8.05 km) of Hilo, Hawaii’s largest city.

Hawaii’s Mauna Loa
Hawaii’s Mauna Loa

Hawaii Volcano: The world’s largest active volcano, Hawaii’s Mauna Loa began erupting on November 27, 2022, for the first time since 1984. It ended its longest quiet period in recorded history. With the eruption of the volcano, the night sky above Hawaii’s largest island glowed a hellish red as bright, hot lava sprang forth at the Volcano’s summit at around 11.30 pm. According to the United States Geological Service, the lava is contained within the summit and does not threaten Hawaiians living downslope for now.

Hawaii’s Mauna Loa Volcano erupts

The Emergency Management Agency of Hawaii said that it had opened two shelters on the island as a precaution but has also emphasized that there are no signs that lava will threaten the populated areas and that it had not issued any evacuation orders. 

As per the agency, about half of all recorded eruptions of Mauna Loa had been confined to the summit.

Hawaii’s Mauna Loa Volcano: When did it last erupt?

Mauna Loa rises 13,679 feet (4,169 meters) above the Pacific Ocean, part of the chain of volcanoes that had formed the islands of Hawaii.

Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii had last erupted in March and April of 1984 and had sent a flow of lava within 5 miles (8.05 km) of Hilo, Hawaii’s largest city.

Mauna Loa Volcano in Hawaii: History

As per the US Geological Survey, Mauna Loa, which covers half of the island of Hawaii, has erupted 33 times since 1843. It is the volcano’s first well-documented historical eruption. The volcano last erupted in 1984.

Mauna Loa’s summit crater sits about 21 miles west of Kilauea, a smaller volcano that has been erupting since 2021. Their simultaneous eruptions have created a rare dual-eruption event.

As per the agency, Mauna Loa has also been in a heightened state of unrest which pointed in an update last month to elevated seismic activity and increased earthquake rates.

Earthquake activity increased from 5 to 10 earthquakes a day since June 2022 to some 10 to 20 earthquakes a day in July and August. Peak numbers of more than 100 earthquakes a day were recorded on September 23 and September 29, 2022.

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