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  • Writer's pictureKatelyn Sosebee

Mauna Loa Lights Up The Sky

Mauna Loa, the world’s largest active volcano located in Hawaii, erupted Monday morning at 3:30 AM CT.

For the first time since 1984, the volcano with the name meaning “long mountain” luminated the night sky with a fiery red glow. The U.S. Geological Survey had been recording unrest under its surface since September.

While the initial reaction of lava flow was not deemed an immediate threat to the population of 200,629, The Hawaii Volcano Observatory warns citizens about the erratic behavior of Mauna Loa’s past eruptions. Because of the mountain’s steep slopes, the path of destruction can be “very dynamic, and the location and advance of lava flows can change rapidly.”

Main concerns to Hawaiian officials is the harmful volcanic ash and gas that can possibly affect air quality of the communities surrounding the mountain. Although an evacuation was not mandated, officials opened two shelters and are encouraging people to wear masks or stay inside.

Of the five volcanoes that make up the Big Island of Hawaii, Mauna Loa is not the only one to have erupted within the past decade. In 2018, Kilauea destroyed 700 homes in a residential neighborhood.

The Observatory hopes that Mauna Loa’s eruption will remain within the summit of Moku’āweoweo which will keep the lava contained inside the caldera’s walls. If it were to change, crops, animals, communities, and infrastructure could suffer damage.


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