Mauna Loa volcano, on Hawaii, is the world’s largest active volcano and its eruption began on Monday, during midday.
According to the US Geological Survey, the Mauna Loa volcano eruption in 2022 is not threatening communities. However, there have been lava sighted flowing down one side of it.
“All indications are that the eruption will remain in the Northeast Rift Zone. Volcanic gas and possibly fine ash and Pele’s Hair (strands of lava glass) may be carried downwind,” it said in a statement.
Although residents of the island are safe, the state transportation department advised passengers who intend to fly to Hilo International Airport (ITO) or the Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole (KOA) to check in with their airline.
Meanwhile, Southwest Airlines has canceled five flights to and from Honolulu due to the Mauna Loa volcano eruption. It also confirmed not operating from the ITO airport on Monday, while the US Federal Aviation Administration said that it was monitoring the eruption to advise airlines on the size of ash cloud and how it would affect flights.
Despite the communities being safe, the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency tweeted that it has set up two shelters but has not issued any evacuation orders yet.
The region’s weather service advised that people with respiratory illnesses should remain indoors to avoid inhaling the ash particles and anyone outside should cover their mouth and nose with a mask or cloth. It also added that the ashfall could contaminate water supplies, harm crops and animals, reduce visibility, and tamper with equipment, sewage, and electrical systems.
Before Monday’s eruption, the Mauna Loa had been in unrest due to increasing seismic activity and earthquake rates since July 2022. This was the first time it was erupting since it last erupted in 1984.
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