Mauna Loa alert level for erupting remains at yellow (advisory), despite the hype : Kauai Now & More Trending News


Mauna Loaʻs alert level remains at yellow, or advisory. But some latest headlines from media round the United States and even in Hawai‘i are sending a extra ominous message.

“Hawai‘i’s Big Island gets warning as huge volcano rumbles,” reads the headline for an Associated Press story from Oct. 27. “Warning given as Mauna Loa continues to rumble,” stated KITV4 for a narrative Oct. 28.

Mauna Loa shrouded by clouds 10 30 22
Mauna Loa’s summit shrouded in clouds as seen Oct. 30 from Hilo Bay. Photo by Nathan Christophel/Big Island Now.

Other examples of latest headlines embrace “Warning as Hawai‘i’s biggest volcano rumbles,” “Mauna Loa volcano sets off warning signals in Hawai‘i” and “Residents of Hawai‘i’s Big Island warned of potential ‘lava disaster’ as world’s largest active volcano rumbles.”

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory and Hawai‘i County Civil Defense have issued no latest warnings relating to Mauna Loa.

“I saw some of those news articles as well and a lot of them are featuring photos not even of Mauna Loa volcano,” Katie Mulliken, a geologist with the volcano observatory, stated. “They’re showing photos of Kilauea, either from the 2018 eruption or previous eruptions such as the one at Pu‘u ‘O‘o. And that can certainly cause alarm, especially depending on the headline, making it seem like an eruption is impending or ongoing.”

That is just not the case.



The hype has even been sufficient for the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority to place out a message reassuring vacationers and reminding them that Hawai‘i is a dynamic and ever-changing place.

“Mauna Loa volcano is not erupting at this time and recent news of the U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory monitoring Mauna Loa is no reason for travelers to alter their travel plans to Hawai‘i Island or any of the Hawaiian Islands at this time,” the state tourism company stated in its Oct. 31 e-bulletin.

It’s been practically 40 years since the volcano final erupted and it has been in a interval of heightened unrest since September. Seismic exercise beneath the volcano’s summit and caldera spiked in late September, with Hawaiian Volcano Observatory devices recording as many as 100 quakes a day at sure factors.

“The unrest is likely caused by renewed input of magma into Mauna Loa’s summit reservoir system,” the observatory stated in its Mauna Loa day by day replace Friday. “As the reservoir expands, it is triggering small earthquakes directly beneath Mokuʻāweoweo caldera and in a region just to the northwest of the caldera.”

The replace stated 43 small-magnitude earthquakes from 2-3 miles beneath Mokuʻāweoweo caldera and 4-5 miles beneath the upper-elevation northwest flank of Mauna Loa have been detected from Thursday to Friday. Both areas have traditionally been seismically lively during times of unrest on Mauna Loa.


Global positioning system devices at the summit and on the volcano’s flanks additionally proceed to measure inflation at charges elevated since mid-September. However, no important floor deformation has been seen in the previous week.

“The locations of recent shallow earthquakes are similar to those prior to the 1975 and 1984 Mauna Loa eruptions, but other precursory signals are missing,” in response to the Frequently Asked Questions about Mauna Loa Volcano. “Signals that have preceded eruptions include upward migration of earthquakes, sustained strong harmonic tremor, accelerated deformation and overall increase in earthquakes.”

Because of that heightened unrest, nonetheless, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory modified its messaging from weekly to day by day updates. The volcano’s alert level hasn’t modified from advisory since 2019 and Mulliken stated the observatory sees no indicators of an imminent eruption.

“That could of course change in the future, but we’re using this as an opportunity to encourage people on the Island of Hawai‘i, especially in areas that could be impacted by an eruption, to revisit their (emergency) plans,” she stated. “There are a slew of hazards that can impact residents here, so it’s always good to have some kind of emergency plan in place, and situations like this are just a good reminder for folks to do that.”

Fortunately, most of Mauna Loa’s previous 33 eruptions have been confined to the caldera area. However, when lava does get away in different places, it may possibly stream quickly down the volcano’s steep slopes.


Frank Trusdell, one other geologist with the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory who has spent most of his profession learning and monitoring Mauna Loa, stated throughout a neighborhood assembly final month in Ocean View that lava made it to the ocean inside three hours throughout a 1950 eruption in the volcano’s Southwest Rift Zone.

The volcano observatory can forecast eruptions, however Scientist-in-Charge Ken Hon stated throughout the Ocean View assembly that if and when one does get away, the alert level gained’t change till the observatory is aware of with certainty Mauna Loa will erupt.

“We can certainly forecast them; however, it could be a relatively short amount of time between when we see signs that an eruption might occur and then when that eruption occurs,” Mulliken stated.

That’s why individuals dwelling on the volcano should be ready and why Civil Defense has been internet hosting the neighborhood conferences in partnership with the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

Two neighborhood conferences have been hosted to date, the one in Ocean View and one other in Pāhala, to replace residents about the volcano’s exercise and reply questions. Another is deliberate from midday to 2 p.m. Saturday in the cafeteria of Konawaena Elementary School in Kealakekua.

Civil Defense and the volcano observatory work intently collectively and are in fixed contact in the case of volcanic hazards on the island. Both will preserve the public up to date frequently if and when one thing occurs.

Mulliken urged the public to concentrate to these trusted sources as an alternative of hyped headlines.

“We always encourage everyone to check our website,” she stated. “If something were to happen, it would be on our website. That’s the most reliable source of information.”

Mulliken speculated that the change in messaging and neighborhood conferences may have one thing to do with all the media consideration surrounding Mauna Loa currently, and with the 2018 eruption of Kilauea in decrease Puna nonetheless contemporary in individuals’s minds, “that might be part of it.”

Sure, the unknown is horrifying. You by no means know when the subsequent fissure in life will get away and erupt an surprising drawback. The greatest plan of action is to be as ready as doable so if — and when — the time comes, the concern doesn’t take over.

“Yeah. Mauna Loa is an active volcano. It will erupt again,” Mulliken stated. “But as a resident, and I can certainly do this too, I live on the Island of Hawai‘i, think about how it could impact you. If you can think about that in advance, if and when it does happen, then you’ll be better prepared.”

For extra details about Mauna Loa, click on right here. Click right here for the Hawai‘i County Civil Defense volcano hazards web page and right here for the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory web site.

Mauna Loa alert level for erupting remains at yellow (advisory), despite the hype : Kauai Now

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Mauna Loa alert level for erupting remains at yellow (advisory), despite the hype : Kauai Now

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