Hawaii’s Mauna Loa Volcano Begins Eruption, Alert Level Raised – USGS

Nov 28 (Reuters) – An eruption began at the summit caldera of Hawaii’s Mauna Loa, the world’s largest active volcano, on Sunday evening, the US Geological Service’s (USGS) volcanic activity service said.

“At this time, lava flows are contained to the summit area and do not threaten communities on downslope slopes,” the release said.

However, the announcement warned based on past events that the early eruption stages of this volcano can be very dynamic and that the location and advance of lava flows can change rapidly.

The volcano’s alert level was upgraded from an “advisory” to a “warning”.

The announcement added that the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) would conduct aerial reconnaissance as soon as possible to assess the hazards and better describe the eruption.

More than a dozen earthquakes with a magnitude greater than 2.5 struck the region in the past two hours, according to the USGS, with one measuring 4.2.

Mauna Loa, which takes up more than half of Hawaii’s Big Island and rises 13,679 feet (4,169 meters) above the Pacific Ocean, last erupted in March and April 1984, sending a lava flow within 5 miles (8.05 km) of the city of Hilo.

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Reporting by Shubham Kalia in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Chopra

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