Science

Two volcanoes erupted simultaneously in Hawaii for the first time in decades:

Hawaii’s two largest volcanoes are erupting at the same time.

Hawaii’s Mauna Loa, the world’s largest active volcano flashed for the first time on Sunday nights over the decades. Nearby, Kilauea is also erupting—both on the larger island of the archipelago.

A double eruption has not been observed since 1984.

“It’s a rare time when two eruptions are happening at the same time,” Jessica Ferracane, a spokeswoman for Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, told CBS News. “For the people of Hawaii, this is a very sacred event that we are witnessing.”

Kilauea Volcano, which is smaller and more active than Mauna Loa, has been in a constant state of eruption since 1983. In 2018, its lava flows destroyed hundreds of homes on the island. Until recently, its eruptive activity has been confined to the crater, according to the US Geological Survey.

Scientists say two new lava flows formed on Tuesday on Mauna Loa, which last erupted in 1984.

Ken Hone, scientist in charge of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, said experts are monitoring the movement of the lava, which is about 6 miles from the Saddle Road, which connects the east and west sides of the island.

Hon said, “It could easily move and start another flow as well and we’ll watch that very carefully. We’re very, very, very concerned about the progress.”

The state health department said ash and sulfur dioxide from the eruption could negatively affect air quality across the state.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park remains open, but visitors are urged to check the park’s website for closure updates, safety alerts, air quality and other information.

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