Hawaii’s Mauna Loa volcano eruption poses no immediate threat to residents, travelers

HAWAII (KLTV) – The Mauna Loa volcano on the island of Hawaii began erupting Sunday at approximately 11:30 p.m.

According to the Hawaii Tourism Authority, the situation is being closely monitored around the clock by scientists at the Hawaii Volcano Observatory and the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, who provide regular updates.

At this time, the agency said there is no need to change any travel plans to either of the Hawaiian Islands. Mauna Loa is located on the island of Hawaii, the southernmost island of the main island chain. Travel to the other islands – Kauai, Oahu, Maui, Molokai and Lānai – is not affected by the eruption.

The agency also said there is no need to change any plans to visit the island of Hawaii at this time. The lava eruption is currently contained within the summit caldera at the summit of Mauna Loa. While the eruption has raised Mauna Loa’s aviation color code to red, meaning a hazardous eruption is imminent, ongoing or suspected, Hawaii Island’s two major airports in Hilo and Kona are currently open and the eruption is not expected to affect their capacity. to handle scheduled flights arriving and departing each day. The agency said it’s a good idea to check with the airline about the status of your flight.

As for whether anyone is in danger from the eruption, as of 6:30 a.m. on November 28, the Hawaii Volcano Observatory confirms that lava has flowed from the summit of Mauna Loa and can be seen on the northeast flank. The northeast flank is unpopulated and poses no threat to any community at this time. Residents and visitors staying in communities downstream of Mauna Loa should have emergency preparedness plans ready should an evacuation be necessary. Visitors staying in short-term vacation rentals should contact their hosts for more information. The main resort areas of Kailua-Kona, the Kohala Coast and Hilo are not immediately downstream of the eruption.

The agency said people with asthma, emphysema, COPD or other types of respiratory problems should take precautions to avoid the ash and vog that are characteristic of volcanic eruptions. This would include either staying indoors or monitoring how the wind is blowing so you don’t get caught in an area where the ash and vog are heavy and could affect your ability to breathe normally.

The agency said that while Hawaii Island is the youngest and most active of the Hawaiian Islands in terms of volcanic activity, eruptions are rare. Mauna Loa last erupted 38 years ago in 1984. The island’s most recent eruption occurred in 2018, when the Kīlauea volcano erupted and lava flowed for several months.

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