Mauna Loa Eruption April 2023
Around 11:30 p.m. local time on Sunday (0930 GMT Monday), the summit of Hawaii’s largest island erupted, unleashing bright, hot lava that lit up the night sky with a hellish red glow. Currently, the U.S. Geological Service (USGS) has reported that the lava remains confined to the summit and does not pose any immediate danger to those living downslope.
Mauna Loa Eruption Update
As a precautionary measure, two shelters have been established on the island by Hawaii’s Emergency Management Agency. However, the agency has also emphasized that there are no indications of the lava posing a threat to populated regions and, therefore, it has not released any evacuation orders.
The eruption of Mauna Loa is ongoing on the Northeast Rift Zone, with three fissures opening up. As of 1:30 PM, only the lowest of the three fissures remains active. While the tallest fountain heights are estimated to be between 100-200 ft (30-60 m), most are only a few yards (meters) in height. The lava flows from the fissures have been directed towards the northeast, parallel to the rift zone. While the flows from the two higher fissures have moved downslope, they came to a halt approximately 11 miles (18 km) from Saddle Road. Fissure 3 is currently supplying lava flows that are moving east, in parallel to the Northeast Rift Zone. These flows remain above 10,000 feet in elevation and are more than 10 miles (16 km) away from Saddle Road. Although it is not anticipated that the upper fissures will reactivate, there is a possibility that additional fissures could open up along the Northeast Rift Zone below the current site, and lava flows could continue moving downslope.
At present, there is no active lava present within Moku’āweoweo caldera, and nor is there any eruption occurring from the Southwest Rift Zone. It is not anticipated that any eruptive activity will occur outside the Northeast Rift Zone. As of now, no property is in danger. A gas plume from the fissure fountains and lava flows is visible, with the plume being primarily carried towards the Northwest by the wind.
Mauna Loa USGS
As per the USGS statement, “Lava flows are not endangering any communities downslope, and it appears that the eruption will stay confined to the Northeast Rift Zone.”
The USGS reports that Mauna Loa has erupted a total of 33 times since 1843. The most recent eruption was in 1984, when the lava cascaded down the slopes and approached as close as 4.5 miles to Hilo.
Mauna Loa Eruption Map
Mauna Loa is part of the chain of volcanoes that created the Hawaiian islands and rises 13,679 feet (4,169 meters) above the Pacific Ocean. Its most recent eruption occurred in March and April of 1984, resulting in the lava flow coming as close as 5 miles (8.05 km) to Hilo, which is the largest city on the island.
Map of Hawaii
The Hawaiian name for Mauna Loa is “long mountain,” which is quite apt, given that the colossal mountain stretches approximately 74 miles from its base along the southern coast of Hawaii Island to the rim of its summit caldera or crater, where the recent eruption commenced on Sunday evening.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Q. On which island is Mauna Loa located?
A. Mauna Loa is situated on the Big Island of Hawaii.
Q. When did the Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii erupt?
A. The most recent eruption occurred at 10:50 pm, Monday, 28 November 2022 (GMT-10), in Mauna Loa, United States.
Q. What is the world’s largest active volcano?
A. The world’s largest active volcano is Mauna Loa.
Q. How can I stay up-to-date with the status of Mauna Loa?
A. You can subscribe to the Volcano Notification Service and modify your settings to receive status updates regarding Mauna Loa.