Science

Mauna Loa volcano’s lava flow slows as it nears major Hawaii highway

lava flowing from tall mountain, the world’s largest active volcano, has slowed down significantly. It is now blowing at less than 50 yards per hour, meaning it takes about two hours to move the length of a football field.

According to the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, only one fissure is active and feeding lava flows. Another crack is “dormant” and two others are inactive.

tall mountain The eruption began on Sunday night for the first time in nearly four decades. Although the flow of lava has slowed down, it is still threatens to cross Daniel K. On Inouye Highway, also known as DKI Highway or Saddle Road. The drift is clearly visible less than three miles from reaching the highway.

Geologists say it could take a week for the lava to reach the DKI Highway – if it reaches it at all. The road connects the east and west of the Big Island of Hawaii and has become a viewing point for thousands of people wishing to view the historic eruption.

People look at the glow of lava erupting from Hawaii's Mauna Loa volcano on November 28, 2022 in Hilo, Hawaii.
People look at the glow of lava erupting from Hawaii’s Mauna Loa volcano on November 28, 2022 in Hilo, Hawaii.

AP Photo/Caleb Jones


David Phillips, deputy scientist in charge of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, told CBS News there is “no imminent danger” to residents on the west or south side of the island at this time.

But if Mauna Loa’s flow had taken a different path, the city of Hilo could have been in a bullseye.

The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency said Friday that they have deployed a team to Hilo to assist with Hawaii County’s emergency response.

“While the lava is very slow moving at this time and does not pose an immediate threat to populated areas, it is still a hazard with enormous destructive potential,” agency administrator Luke Meyers said in a statement.

The state health department said the air quality remained good despite emissions of ash and sulfur dioxide due to the eruption.

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