Two active volcanoes on the Big Island of Hawaii— “The eruption is no longer occurring,” scientists at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) announced Tuesday.
The alert level for both Mauna Loa and Kilauea has been lowered from “watch” to “advisory,” according to HVO, which is part of the US Geological Survey.
The HVO said it was “closely monitoring” both volcanoes for “signs of renewed activity”.
Mauna Loa began erupting on November 27, its first eruption since 1984. This marked the first time since 1984 that Mauna Loa and Kilauea had a double eruption. Officials said Mauna Loa’s latest eruption did not pose any significant threat to habitats or people – although its lava was foundto a major highway.
HVO said that although it is now Daniel K. Lava is not spewing towards the Inouye Highway, there is one vent at Mauna Loa that remains a hazard.
“A vent on the west side of the Fissure 3 cone remains incandescent and occasionally produces small eruptions as trapped gases are released,” HVO said. “The lava flows around the vent remain hot and unstable. The vent area is also cut by numerous ground cracks.”
Kilauea’s latest eruption began in September 2021 and showed up with 100 feet of lavaBut did not damage property. This was in stark contrast to an eruption in 2018 that destroyed hundreds of homes and spread widely for infrastructure in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
The HVO says that in addition to ground instability, the lingering volcanic gases at Kilauea remain a threat.
“Volcanic gas (sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide) levels may remain locally dangerous even though Kilauea is no longer erupting,” the HVO statement said. “The instability of the crater wall, cracks in the ground, and rock fall around Halema’uma’u also pose significant hazards, which could be amplified by earthquakes within an area closed to the public.”
HVO reports that “eruptive activity” is not expected to return to Mauna Loa. However, for Kilauea, there is a “possibility of a resumption” of the current eruption, “or the beginning of a new eruption.”
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