Hawaii volcano erupting for the first time since 1984

Posted on Nov 30 2022

File photo from Jan. 6, 2001, shows the lava-coated summits of Mauna Loa (bottom) and Mauna Kea (top) are colored deep purple in this false-color Landsat image of the Hawaii’s Big Island. Along the bottom edge, the crater of Kilauea—the world’s most active volcano—is visible as well. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

HONOLULU—The world’s largest active volcano, Mauna Loa on Hawaii’s Big Island, is erupting for the first time since 1984.

The eruption began in Moku’āweoweo, the summit caldera of Mauna Loa, on Sunday at approximately 11:30pm HST, according to the Hawaii Volcano Observatory; though lava is flowing down one side of the volcano, there is no indication of a threat to nearby communities at this time.

“U.S. Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center Honolulu received a call from Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency with a request for support from an Air Station Barbers Point C-130 to conduct an aerial observation flight of the eruption with partners from the U.S. Geological Survey and official’s from the state and county,” said Lt. Eric Juback, D14 command duty officer. “The Coast Guard values these interagency relationships and stands ready to support emergency operations across the Hawaiian Islands if capable.”

Upon receiving the request, a C-130 Hercules aircrew from Air Station Barbers Point conducted a fly-over with Mayor Mitch Roth, Hawaii Civil Defense Agency, U.S. Geological Survey, and other state and county officials to assess the situation. Video footage was taken from the C-130 at that time showing the progression of the lava flow.

Video footage taken from a U.S. Coast Guard C-130 shows the progression of the lava flow at the Mauna Loa on Hawaii’s Big Island, which is erupting for the first time since 1984. (USCG)

Portions of the Big Island are under an ashfall advisory issued by the National Weather Service in Honolulu. As a precaution, shelters have been opened at Kekuaokalani Gym, Kailua Park in Kona and Robert Herkes Gym in Pahala.

For up-to-date information, visit Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency: https://www.hawaiicounty.gov/civil-defense  (USCG)

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