Scientists lower alarm for Mauna Loa, say eruption may stop

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Scientists downgraded Mauna Loa volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island from a warning to a watch on Saturday and said the mountain’s first eruption in nearly 40 years may soon end. The U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said in a bulletin that eruptions in the mountain’s northeast rift zone are continuing, but lava flow and volcanic gas emissions have “significantly decreased.” “The high eruption rate will not recover based on past eruptions, and current behavior suggests that the eruption may end soon,” the observatory said. “However, the inflationary trend of Mauna Loa’s summit has accompanied the decline in activity, and there is a small possibility that the eruption may continue at a very low eruption rate.” Meanwhile, the lava flow front “stagnant” nearly 2 miles from Saddle Road, a vital highway that residents and tourists use to travel between the town of Hilo on the east side of the island and coastal resorts in the west, the report said. Earlier last week, scientists said the road was no longer under immediate threat from the lava, dispelling earlier fears it could be cut off. Mauna Loa began spewing molten rock on Nov. 27 after 38 years of silence, drawing onlookers to the spectacle of the glow and unnerving survivors of the devastating eruptions in the early stages. For many Native Hawaiians, this phenomenon has deep but very personal cultural significance. The observatory said its scientists continue to closely monitor the volcano, and flight restrictions remain in effect in the area up to 1,500 feet (457 meters) above ground level.

Scientists downgraded Mauna Loa volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island from a warning to a watch on Saturday and said the mountain’s first eruption in nearly 40 years may soon end.

The U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said in a bulletin that eruptions in the mountain’s northeast rift zone are continuing, but lava flow and volcanic gas emissions have “significantly decreased.”

“The high eruption rate will not recover based on past eruptions, and current behavior suggests that the eruption may end soon,” the observatory said. “However, the inflationary trend of Mauna Loa’s summit has accompanied the decline in activity, and there is a small possibility that the eruption may continue at a very low eruption rate.”

Meanwhile, the lava flow front “stagnant” nearly 2 miles from Saddle Road, a vital highway that residents and tourists use to travel between the town of Hilo on the east side of the island and coastal resorts in the west, the report said.

Earlier last week, scientists said the road was no longer under immediate threat from the lava, dispelling earlier fears it could be cut off.

Mauna Loa began spewing molten rock on Nov. 27 after 38 years of silence, drawing onlookers to the spectacle of the glow and unnerving survivors of the devastating eruptions in the early stages. For many Native Hawaiians, this phenomenon has deep but very personal cultural significance.

The observatory said its scientists continue to closely monitor the volcano, and flight restrictions remain in effect up to 1,500 feet (457 meters) above ground level.

Scientists lower alarm for Mauna Loa, say eruption may stop

Source link Scientists lower alarm for Mauna Loa, say eruption may stop