Authorities said Monday that the largest active volcano in the world, Mauna Loa in Hawaii, has already started to erupt for the first time in almost forty years, causing volcanic ash and debris to fall nearby.
On the Big Island of the United States, the eruption started late on Sunday night at the summit caldera. said the Geological Survey.
It stated that lava flows were restricted within the summit area and posed no threat to adjacent villages early on Monday.
But lava flows can be seen from Kona in the top region. According to a statement from the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, there is currently no evidence that the eruption may migrate into a rift zone.
The granite is broken and relatively weak at a rift zone, where the mountain is separating, making it more straightforward for magma to emerge.
It is impossible to anticipate how long the volcano will erupt or whether it will let the lava flow to populated portions of the island, according to Miel Corbett, a USGS spokesperson.
She added, “But I can tell you that we’re in continual contact with Hawaii Civil Defense right now, and they’re giving updates to community people.
The civil defense service said it had built shelters in Kailua-Kona and Pahala because of reports of individuals self-evacuating along the South Kona coast, even though it stated there is no trace of lava departing the summit.
“Numerous pictures on social media show lava activity outside the caldera. No verifiable lava migration into a rift zone has been observed as of yet, claims a statement.
The USGS forewarned residents in danger from Mauna Loa lava flows to assess their eruptive preparations.
Due to a recent increase in tremors at the volcano’s top, which last erupted in 1984, scientists have been on high alert.
The National Weather Service in Honolulu has issued an ashfall warning for parts of the Big Island, stating that up to a quarter-inch (0.6 cm) of ash could accumulate in some places.
The Big Island of Hawaii, the southernmost island in the Hawaiian archipelago, comprises five volcanoes, including Mauna Loa.
Kilauea volcano erupted in a community and destroyed 700 homes in 2018; it has a far more prominent neighbor, Mauna Loa, which rises 13,679 feet (4,169 meters) above sea level.
Its lava can flow significantly more quickly during eruptions because some slopes are steeper than Kilauea’s.
The mountain’s lava traveled 15 miles (24 kilometers) to the ocean in less than three hours during an eruption in 1950.