Hawaii’s Mauna Loa, the world’s largest active volcano, is erupting, causing blood-red skies and an ash alert

The north rim of the summit caldera of Mauna Loa volcano on November 28, 2022.

The north rim of the summit caldera of Mauna Loa volcano on November 28, 2022.Screengrab via US Geological Survey, public domain

  • Hawaii’s Mauna Loa, the world’s largest active volcano, erupted late Sunday night local time after 38 years of silence.

  • From its underwater base, the volcano rises 30,000 feet above the ocean floor, making it taller than Mount Everest.

  • Parts of the Big Island of Hawaii were under an ash fall warning, which disrupted airline flights.

For the first time in decades, Hawaii’s Mauna Loa, the world’s largest active volcano, erupted, turning the sky red.

The eruption began around 11:30 p.m. local time Sunday night in Mauna Loa’s summit caldera, according to a statement from the United States Geological Survey. In a 7:20 a.m. local time update Monday, the agency said lava was pouring out of the northeast side of the volcano, known as the Northeast Rift Zone.

“The lava flows are not threatening any communities downstream and all indications are that the eruption will remain in the Northeast Rift Zone,” the USGS said. He added that the winds could carry volcanic ash, gas and glass elsewhere.

The agency’s volcanic ash warning prompted Southwestern airlines to cancel 10 flights between Hilo and Honolulu on Monday. “At this time, we don’t expect any other impacts,” an airline spokesperson told Insider.

“Based on past events, the early stages of a Mauna Loa eruption can be very dynamic, and the location and advancement of lava flows can change rapidly,” the USGS said. “If the eruption remains at Moku’āweoweo [the summit caldera], the lava flows will most likely be confined within the caldera walls. However, if the vents migrate outside its walls, the lava flows can move rapidly downwards.”

Of Hawaii Emergency Management Agency and from Hawaii Tourism Authority both said Monday morning that there was no immediate threat to populated areas. Officials have not issued evacuation orders but Hawaii County has opened several shelters, Hawaii News Now reports.

The Honolulu branch of the National Weather Service issued an ash fall warning, warning that up to a quarter-inch of ash could accumulate on parts of the island. The agency She said he was looking for reports of ash on the ground after the eruption.

“People with respiratory illnesses should stay indoors to avoid inhaling ash particles, and anyone outside should cover their mouth and nose with a mask or cloth,” the NWS said. Volcanic ash can contaminate water and crops, damage buildings and equipment, and harm health, according to the NWS.

A thermal imager on the north rim of the summit caldera of Mauna Loa, Hawaii on November 28, 2022.

A thermal imager on the north rim of the summit caldera of Mauna Loa, Hawaii on November 28, 2022.Screengrab via US Geological Survey, public domain.

People all over Hawaii have posted photos and videos on social media showing blood red skies following the eruption.

The gigantic volcano is waking up after 38 years of silence

Mauna Loa covers half of Hawaii’s southernmost island – Hawaii – which rises more than 13,600 feet above the Pacific Ocean. From its underwater base, it rises 30,000 feet to the ocean floor, making it taller than Mount Everest, according to the National Park Service.

Mauna Loa has erupted 33 times since 1843, which was the volcano’s first “well-documented historical eruption,” according to the USGS. It hasn’t erupted since 1984. The eruption comes after weeks of frequent earthquakes at the volcano’s summit, prompting scientists and officials to ask residents to prepare to evacuate, according to Hawaii News Now. Twice in September, more than 100 earthquakes were reported in a single day, CNN reports.

Lava in the summit region of Mauna Loa during an eruption as seen by a USGS remote camera on Nov. 28, 2022.

Lava in the summit region of Mauna Loa as seen by a USGS remote camera on Nov. 28, 2022.KEN HON/USGS

Volcanic eruptions emit large amounts of gases and particles into the atmosphere, including ash, sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide, according to the USGS. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that warms the planet, contributing to climate change, although human sources of carbon dioxide, such as the burning of fossil fuels, contribute much more to warming than volcanic eruptions. Ash and sulfur dioxide, meanwhile, can sometimes produce a temporary cooling effect on the planet’s climate.

Exactly which gases were emitted into the atmosphere, and in what quantities, will have to be studied in the coming days.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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