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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Mauna Loa Volcano Erupts on Hawaii

On Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, Mauna Loa volcano on the island of Hawai‘i began to erupt. The volcano alert level has since risen to WARNING/RED.

The eruption of Mauna Loa is continuing on the Northeast Rift Zone. Three fissures erupted and as of 1:30pm local time on Monday. Only the lowest of the three fissures was active. Estimates of the tallest fountain heights are between 100–200 feet, but most are a few yards tall. 

The fissures sent lava flows to the northeast and parallel to the rift zone. Lava flows from the two higher fissures moved downslope but stalled about 11 miles from Saddle Road. Fissure 3 is currently feeding lava flows moving east parallel to the Northeast Rift Zone. These remain at above 10,000 feet elevation and over 10 miles away from Saddle Road. 

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) does not expect upper fissures to reactivate. However, it adds that additional fissures could open along the Northeast Rift Zone below the current location, and lava flows can continue to travel downslope.

There is no active lava within Moku’āweoweo caldera, and there is no lava erupting from the Southwest Rift Zone. USGS does not expect any eruptive activity outside the Northeast Rift Zone. No property is at risk as of 10pm ET on Nov. 28. There is a visible gas plume from the erupting fissure fountains and lava flows, with the plume primarily being blown to the Northwest.  

The Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA) has activated its Emergency Operations Center for enhanced monitoring of the evolving situation and provide any support requested. 

Follow updates at USGS

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