Mauna Loa volcano’s lava flow could reach major Hawaii highway within days

lava flowing from tall mountainThe world’s largest active volcano may reach the highway connecting the east and west sides of Hawaii’s Big Island, according to officials.

“There is a high probability that this lava flow, if it continues, will definitely reach the road,” Ken Hone, scientist in charge of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, told CBS News. “So we’re looking at about two days.”

Although the flow is slowing, it is still persistent, and emergency managers are ramping up their planning as it approaches Daniel K. Inouye threatens to cross the highway, also known as the DKI Highway or Saddle Road.

Mauna Loa, which last erupted in 1984, has been spewing lava since Sunday. Geologists say they have felt a large number of tremors around the eruption site, which means lava will continue to flow.

In this aerial photo released by the US Geological Survey, the Mauna Loa volcano is seen erupting from vents on the Northeast Rift Zone on the Big Island of Hawaii on November 28, 2022.

US Geological Survey via AP

Nearby, Kilauea is also erupting—the first time the Big Island has seen double eruptions in decades.

But for now, the Mauna Loa eruption is more of an attraction than a danger. Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (EMA) Told There is “still no immediate danger to populated areas” from the Wednesday afternoon eruption.

The rare event prompted thousands of spectators to flock to the blast site and the DKI Highway, which has become an important viewing point. One visitor, Hawaii resident Bryant Webster Schultz, told CBS News he has waited his whole life to see the eruption.

Tallmadge Magno, Hawaii County civil defense administrator, said the congestion around the DKI highway was posing a safety hazard. While the highway remains open, the Department of Air Transportation is asking the public to exercise caution and avoid parking along the highway to observe volcanic activity.

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